[FoRK] The World Is Not Flat

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Wed Jan 20 12:03:33 PST 2010

Aaron Burt wrote:
> ...
> I still believe there is a significant opportunity for someone with the
> right knowlege and contacts in the rail networks to offer fractional-
> container shipping to compete with LTL shipping at the slow/cheap end of
> the market.  (Mind, most folks just ship UPS freight anyway instead of
> using LTL, even.)

What are probably needed are technologies to make loading and offloading 
fast, automated, and nearly free energy wise.  For instance, imagine a 
train / trucking transfer point where the train never stops or even 
slows down much.  Using modular containers with NASA-inspired auto 
lockdown/release points on a flatbed, an automated robotic platform / 
arm picks and places containerlets on and off as the train passes by.  
Or the flatbed ejects a load out while accepting a load in, from the 
same or other side using belts or omni rollers.  Mini versions could be 
used for smaller outposts, decelerating and accelerating loads on and off.

Handling failures would be interesting, but not necessarily that difficult.
> My wife manages a warehouse with an unused rail spur,
>   Aaron
Do you have good trucking depot docks?  Highways nearby?


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