New Container Transport Unveiled
A new mode of port transportation was unveiled in the U.S. on Friday by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
Abbott was joined by Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp in rolling out the autonomous Freight Shuttle System (FSS), which operates on its own guideway using single, remotely controlled transporters carrying truck trailers or shipping containers, powered by linear-induction electric motors.
Researchers say the FSS borrows the best characteristics from both truck and rail transport, and uses only about one-third the energy required by diesel trucks. Additional benefits of the FSS include:
• Zero point-of-service emissions – dramatically less pollution than from trucks.
• Reduced roadway congestion.
• Reduced potential for truck-related highway crashes.
• Improved delivery time reliability.
• Reduced infrastructure damage.
The first commercial example of the technology could be underway soon at the Port of Houston Authority (PHA), where increased container traffic has grown even greater since the expansion of the Panama Canal. Executive Director Roger Guenther said that port officials and officials of Freight Shuttle International, LLC (FSI) have agreed in a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding to work together to evaluate options over the next few months for deployment of the FSS at the port.
The FSS is being introduced at a time when the freight industry faces mounting challenges – strained rail and roadway system capacity, environmental concerns, and a chronic shortage of truck drivers, to name only a few.
“The industry cannot thrive without augmenting our existing transportation system and fundamentally changing how we approach freight movement,” FSS Inventor and FSI Founder/Chairman Steve Roop says. “The Freight Shuttle System is designed to blend into today’s intermodal network, integrating proven technologies with novel patented designs into a new mode of transportation.”