AJOT Blogs


EagleRail Proposes Automated and Electric Power Container Conveyance for Ports

Feb 09, 2018

EagleRail Container Logistics, based in Chicago, is partnered with Chinese container crane maker ZPMC developing short and longer distance container transport systems designed to reduce truck congestion and emissions at ports around the world.

The container transport technology is an automated, electric powered system and so generates zero emissions.

Scott Harper, Chief Executive Officer for EagleRail, told AJOT that two of the company’s top executives have worked with ZPMC.

ZPMC is a world leader in container crane manufacturing for ports. The company also produces bulk cargo handling equipment, offshore heavy-duty products and heavy-duty steel structures.

The result is that “EagleRail has a strategic partnership with ZPMC” giving the U.S. company access to the Chinese crane and automation vendor’s world-wide network of customers. ZPMC is assisting in the design and development of automated lifting and shuttling equipment.

EagleRail’s American founder had developed U.S. rail equipment technology that has since migrated into container conveyance and short distance rail systems.

The company is hoping to break ground on three projects in Asia within the next two years:

  • Together with the ZPMC, the U.S. company is in discussions in China to design and build a short distance container conveyance network. This is designed to ease truck traffic at container terminals. An overhead rail system will move containers from one side of a container terminal to another.
  • At the Chittagong Port Authority (Bangladesh) EagleRail is proposing a short distance container conveyance to move containers 700 meters from the terminal to a nearby off-dock transload facility. The project will relieve truck congestion at the terminal by shifting truck pick-up and deliveries to the off-dock transload facility. There, containers will be transloaded onto trucks for delivery to customers in Bangladesh and Nepal. Harper says “there is a serious truck congestion problem at the Port. EagleRail’s system proposes to improve the flow of containers moving off-dock as well as reducing bottlenecks inside the terminal so ships can load and unload faster.” The Port of Chittagong processed 2.3 million twenty-foot unit containers in 2015, he said.
  • At the Singapore Port Authority, the company is working with planners, land use and transportation agencies to design a container transport link between new and existing container terminals. This will reduce truck traffic jams and truck emissions on already crowded Singapore highways. Currently Singapore terminals processes 31 million twenty-foot unit containers per year, Harper said.

The company is looking at partnerships with U.S. railroads to develop short distance container transport from container terminals to off-dock rail facilities. Two possible candidates for the system would be the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Author Photo
Stas Margaronis
American Journal of Transportation
WEST COAST CORRESPONDENT