ISO containers are in widespread use in the world of logistics, as we all know. Whether being used to transport materials inter theatre or from a main operating base to a forward operation base. Wherever containers are used there is the return leg to consider, in a civilian context it is the cost of returning empty containers that is the main concern but when moving a container from for example Camp Bastion to a FOB in Helmand there are other factors at play.
Empty containers need more or less the same transportation resource whether they are full or empty.
Of course not all containers will be returned empty, they can be used for accommodation, base construction and to return any sorts of material back. If however, any are returned empty they will still need a DROP’s or flatbed truck, each truck will have a crew of two, require maintenance, fuel and spares. Combat Logistic Patrols are likely to happen whether there are a few empty containers or not but if we can improve the efficiency of the return leg by increasing the number of empty containers that can be shipped per vehicle then this is worthy of consideration.
One idea is to use collapsible containers.
Whilst most of the buzz about collapsible containers is focussed on cost and carbon reduction I wonder if anyone has seen the military angle?