Hemel Hempstead based new business, Shipmore Limited, is developing a new product called ‘STAKA’ that saves money by safely stacking pallets inside freight vehicles – enabling transport operators to ship more goods in existing vehicles. Working with Health & Safety Laboratories in Buxton, Shipmore are testing their new product under different road and load conditions to ensure safety for drivers and loading personnel.
With transport costs rising every year, there is tremendous pressure on transport operators to make the most of their vehicles’ freight capacity. “What happens when you turn up at a depot with a vehicle that can carry 26 pallets and you have 32 waiting to transport?” asks Nina Day at Health & Safety Laboratories. “The temptation to stack the extra pallets on top of smaller ones must be tremendous, but this can lead to a significant risk of load slip and collateral damage as well as damaging the goods below and endangering the lives of the driver, other road users and unloading personnel.”
Launching later this year, STAKA is a modular double-decking solution to suit most freight vehicles. Comprising a lightweight steel frame with a wooden deck, STAKA stands over a pallet of goods enabling a second pallet to travel above. Both the extra pallet and the STAKA need to be strapped down to the deck of the vehicle but the extra handling involved is small compared to having to send a vehicle out twice.
“The flexible, re-usable nature of our product means that transport operators can equip an entire vehicle with STAKAs to create a complete double-deck, or just one or two pallet spaces – enabling them to carry a mix of tall and small pallets in the same vehicle” says Shipmore’s founder, Philippa Bell.
Shipmore are keen to ensure their new product is safe for general use. That’s why they’re working with Health & Safety Laboratories to test their new product. “Anyone can potentially ‘knock-up’ a metal frame – but would you seriously take the risk?” asks Shipmore’s co-founder, Richard Malczyk “We’ve used computer-aided stress analysis to ensure the STAKA can comfortably survive both the static and dynamic stresses of moving heavy goods in transit. With Health & Safety Laboratories’ help we’re testing these under real road conditions to ensure they’re safe.”
Transport operators have already seen the cost savings of moving more pallets on double-deck vehicles, but at 5 metres high these are very large vehicles with restrictions on where they can go. “They certainly can’t be used in Europe on international routes” says Philippa Bell “That’s where STAKA really saves money by improving space efficiency in existing vehicles. The product pays for itself in just a few trips and continues delivering savings thereafter.”
Making better use of existing road vehicles means higher volumes can be carried with fewer trucks – and that means less cost, less road congestion and less CO2 emissions. That’s got to be good for transport operators, good for the economy and good for the environment!
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