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Xerox and Dutch start-up share prestigious transportation innovation award

PARIS, Fra. and Leipzig, Ger.–Xerox and Holland Container Innovations (HCI) are the joint winners of the 2014 Promising Innovation in Transport Award.

Xerox receives the award for its Merge® system, a city-wide sensor-based, smart parking solution that reduces traffic and congestion through guided parking with demand-based pricing.

HCI receives the award for their 4FOLD ISO-certified foldable container, which significantly reduces the economic and environmental cost of empty container shipment.

The Promising Innovation in Transport Award is awarded by the International Transport Forum at the OECD, an intergovernmental organisation for the transport sector with 54 member countries. It will be presented on 21 May in the presence of ministers from around the world during the opening plenary of their global transport summit organised by the International Transport Forum, said a release.

Holland Container Innovations’ 4FOLD foldable container was developed in response to the fact that on average 20% of containers transported on sea, and 40% transported on land are empty.

This economic inefficiency cuts into shipping lines’ profitability and increases unfavourable greenhouse gas and fine particle emissions. The costs and environmental issues caused by this empty transport can be significantly lowered when shipping lines use foldable containers, said the company. 

The 4FOLD is the first 40ft HC foldable container in the world that has passed the ISO certification test. When empty it can be folded to a quarter of its height. Four folded containers can be bundled to the same dimensions as a standard container. Folding and unfolding of the container takes about four minutes and is done with standard lifting equipment.

A pilot project running between the Netherlands and Spain found that the costs of the empty transport were reduced to such an extent that it is cheaper to use a container in a multimodal setup than to use a truck on the road. Use of the foldable container therefore stimulates modal shift in a natural way, said the release.

The jury highlighted the significant potential offered by this innovation for “improving efficiency within the most prevalent freight movement mode globally”, both for the transport and the storage of containers.

“The 4FOLD foldable container provides a solution to one of the largest issues in present day transport – the issue of empty container movements and the related environmental impact”, said Simon Bosschieter, CEO of Holland Container Innovations, the company behind the 4FOLD design. “We are proud to win this prestigious award and aim to leverage the exposure to further expand our global client base in shipping and rail.”

 Lidewijde Ongering, Director-General for Mobility and Transport in the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, who will present the award to HCI added: “Empty containers are inefficient: they carry nothing but air and take up a lot of space. The foldable containers developed by Holland Container Innovations are a fantastic solution: they take up less space and make container transport much more efficient. That’s good for the economy and good for the environment,” she said.