Gallery: Collapsible Cargoshell Shipping Container Cuts Emissions


Ocean-bound shipping containers are an often-overlooked source of CO2 emissions — over 90% of all non-bulk cargo carried worldwide arrives in containers, and many of them are sent back empty. Enter the innovative Cargoshell collapsible shipping container, which can drastically cut emissions on return trips by collapsing to a quarter of its full size.

The Cargoshell, which is manufactured by a Dutch firm of the same name, takes just 30 seconds to fold and unfold. The shipping container is made of a composite material that weighs 25% less than standard shipping containers, lightening its carbon footprint even further.

There’s just one problem: the container costs three times as much as steel shipping containers. But there are still a number of advantages. The Cargoshell material doesn’t corrode, it’s easy to clean, and it provides excellent insulation. And if we ever decide to replace the world’s steel shipping containers with the Cargoshell, it would cut down on 10,000 trips across the ocean each year.

+ Cargoshell

Via Environmental Leader


or your inhabitat account below


  1. Michael Fuller April 28, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Is it truly cost effective? I would be much more expensive to fabricate!

  2. xbicoastalkidx February 10, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    andyt: I can see the problem you’re talking about, but there’s something you’re not considering. Without the containers on board the ships are considerably lighter, meaning better fuel efficiency going back across to pick up more cargo. I’m no expert on this, but basing this off land transport, a 4x the cargo does not mean 4x the fuel consumption to get it there. In other words, the ratio of fuel use to cargo is not 1:1. So I’d be willing to wager that while the one ship taking back 4000 containers might use more fuel than if it only had 1000, the increased consumption to carry those back would more than likely be less than amount saved by freeing up those three other ships.

  3. andyt February 10, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    But if one ship brings back 4000 empty containers, what are the other three ships that brought the original containers across going to do? They still have to go back to pick up the refilled containers, no?

  4. runofthemill February 9, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    If a ship can only fit, say, 1000 containers normally – with these collapsible containers it could fit 4000. Likewise, trailers used to transport them across the country could more efficiently move empty containers to wherever they need to go.

  5. andyt February 9, 2010 at 10:55 am

    At a glance this seems amazing. But don’t the ships have to go back to pick up the full containers anyway? Unless we start packing ships onto ships, I don’t see how any of these 10,000 voyages can actually be cut.

    Please tell me where I went wrong. I want this to be a good idea.

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home