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News Link • Transportation

A Sensor-Packed Shipping Container That Folds Flat in 30 Seconds

• Rena Marie Pacella via

In the half-century since Malcom McLean, an entrepreneurial former trucker from North Carolina, first began packing freight onto ships in uniform steel boxes, shipping containers have transformed the way we move most of the goods on Earth. As McLean recognized, cargo with consistent dimensions becomes a commodity. Any box can go anyplace on any ship, and therefore can be moved and stored far more cheaply and quickly than cargo that comes in a hodgepodge of shapes and sizes.

How It Works Composite Body

As strong as steel and up to five times as corrosion resistant, fiber-reinforced polymer walls make the box lighter and easier to scan than today’s containers.


Internal sensors measure humidity, atmospheric pressure, oxygen level, radiation and temperature to detect food spoilage, smuggled nuclear material or even the presence of humans inside.

Collapsible Frame 

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