Phillip Bodum / Parsons School for Design
We can see a large market for this concept.
Triton is a product designed to promote a more efficient container handling in harbors worldwide. It is a small unit that replaces the existing seal, which is attached on the front of every container in the world. When attached and activated, the unit has two functions: 1. Logs every geographic location as well as sudden rough movements, which will be accessible for the client when container is received. 2. Improves the handling for customs at any harbor, since everything is done electronically.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
The worldwide container industry ships over 150 million containers a year. According to experts that number will double over the next 10 years. Also from 2008 till 2009 container theft increased 67% in the U.S alone. Unfortunately an increase in container receipt, will bring an almost certain increment in container theft. Using GPS, RFID, an impact sensor and data collection technology my product achieves more efficient and secure container handling. With over 15 million containers worldwide in 2011 and many different shippers, this product has to be financially and physically viable. It is a project that will influence many different companies, countries, governments and rules. The existing seal system is a very low-cost, one-time use product that has been used since the birth of the container. The industry needs to be fully convinced about a new product before making such a profound change.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
The container shipping industry is a massive industry that have not had any major changes since is was standardized in the 1960′s. It has always interested me how little product designers think about the shipping industry, since we are constantly relying on it for our job when . This industry has so many aspects that was not considered when the project was initially started. Many people are involved, government rules and policies etc.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
The topic was initiated by a personal conversation with a shipper from DHL. According to professionals, the industry has not had many changes in the past couple of decades regarding container security. A lot of research was gathered about the shipping companies, harbors, current security systems and technology, the U.S Coast Guard and the governmental rules and some of the main issues that came up were the amount of time taken inspecting the container, the purchase of accessories (GPS & padlocks) to heighten security of the container, and finally the waste created by the seals. Within the shipping process many people come into physical contact with the container. This product is also handled by truck drivers, custom officials as well as clients. Each and everyone of these people need to have easy access to the container without jeopardizing the security. The sketching process combined all the research, criteria and ergonomics, to ideate on a possible form. The object needed to be small enough to fit a hand and large enough to resist weather conditions and harsh handling. Triton took into consideration the main issues, making a product that incorporated all of the systems that were lacking, making a fully equipped security system including a seal, GPS and RFID.5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
I designed this product to improve different aspects of the container industry economically and sustainably. Focusing on one of the smallest but most important aspects in shipping, the locking system, I was hoping to influence the whole industry to become greener. By making the handling of every container smoother and faster, companies can reduce the amount of energy spent on each container- this particularly works for the huge amount of containers that have cooling systems for food shipments, etc. Another small aspect is the lead used to make the one-time seal that is constantly being replaced during transit. This little product is responsible for tons of metal waste every year, which could be eliminated by using a stronger object that lives for just as long as a container. These two solutions will in time improve the finances in many aspects of the industry, such as the shipper, the government, the insurance companies and in the end, the client.