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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 12 (April 1, 1930)

Extension of the Container System of Freight Handling

Extension of the Container System of Freight Handling.

Not only on the passenger side is coordination between rail and road taking place at Home. In the movement of freight traffic a great deal is also being done by rail and road in combination. In this connection particular interest is attached to the container system of freight handling, which is being developed on extensive lines by the four group railways of Britain. For some years containers have been employed to a limited degree for the movement of small merchandise at Home. Now large fleets of containers are being brought into use for the expeditious and safe handling of miscellaneous freight of every kind.

Modern Freight Handling. A typical container as employed on the Home Railways.

Modern Freight Handling.
A typical container as employed on the Home Railways.

The L.M. and S. Railway has just acquired a number of insulated containers for the movement of meat, fruit, vegetables, and other perishables. These containers, which are built of wood, and insulated by means of cork slabs, are 12ft. long, 6ft. 2in. wide, and 6ft. 4in. high. A load of four tons is carried, and the tare weight of the container is 35cwts. By the L. and N.E. Railway, some 200 steel containers, with a tare weight of only one ton, have recently been put into traffic. These carry a load of four tons, and their internal dimensions are as follows, viz: length 13ft. 10in., width 6ft. 6in., height 6ft. 8in. Following the lead set by the British railways, it may be noted that America is now interesting herself in container transport. The Baltimore and Ohio system is the pioneer of the container in the United States, and very shortly all the American railways will probably become converts to this convenient system of freight handling.