As part of the celebrations to recognise Superfreighters’ 10-year anniversary for introducing the SLC into the Australian market we are delighted to announce that we now have the third generation of the SLC ready for commercial operations.
While this new version of the SLC retains the current, but heavily revised patented side locking system and bumper design, it is a "from the ground up" redesign that has produced a fundamentally different SLC with a remarkable improvement in its cost of operation.
100 mm profile
The highlight of the new design is undoubtedly the low 100 mm profile of the chassis (as nested). Comparing this to the first SLC introduced a decade ago it represents a reduction in height for nesting of approximately 37.5%.
This means that instead of returning 13 SLCs in a 20 ft container as originally introduced, we now have the capability of returning as many as 22 SLCs in a single 20 ft ISO shipping container, providing our customers with a productivity dividend of up to 70%.
As our current customers can attest, the SLC has very little call for significant maintenance over a typical lease period, therefore the two major costs associated with its operation are its rental or capital cost, and then the return to base of the fleet. Through innovative design we have also been able to reduce the profile (height) of the chassis from its first generation by 60 mm while still retaining the capacity to roll a payload of 24 tonne in an out of a 20 ft container.
By reducing the chassis height by 60 mm we can now nest up to 22 units in the space that we originally had 13. We have also been able to develop methods for reducing the tare weight of the SLC by as much as 30 % in some cases and this further allows the productivity of returns to be improved by keeping return transport costs (often determined by tonnage) lower than before for a given number of SLCs returned.
As a result, we can say that the return costs of the SLC which is the largest single cost factor of the SLC over its commercial operation has been radically improved providing an altogether more productive piece of equipment. Depending upon the circumstances of your operation this new SLC could easily be considered as 40% lower cost of operation compared to the first generation model over its commercial life.
More rollers; less centre point loading
In order to accommodate the same payload requirements with a completely different skeleton, the new 100 mm 20 ft SLC has smaller diameter, but more rollers; 14 instead of 10. Another benefit associated with more rollers is the lowering of the centre point loading and better load management, resulting in less stress on the container floor.
In a 40 ft container operation where our customer is using 2 x 20 ft SLCs in a 40 ft operation this often means that the total payload per roller is well under 1 tonne per roller, which is considerably lower than any maximum loading limits suggested by container manufacturers.
Large forklift tyne pockets
With our latest model our designers have also examined the productivity associated with on site handling of the SLCs when nested. The feedback from our existing clients showed us that there was an opportunity to design larger forklift pockets despite the lower profile. These larger tyne pockets allow our major customers to pick up multiple nested empty SLCs at a time for quicker loading on and off trucks and storing on site. Depending on the capacity of your forklift you could lift and move as many as 4-5 nested SLCs at one time.
Furthermore, in the past clients sometimes had to swap forklifts when pushing the loaded SLCs and moving them around site. Now we have given them the ability to use the same larger forklifts i.e. 7 tonne, for pushing the SLCs into the containers as well as moving them around their site, eliminating the need to hot swap forklifts and further enhancing the productivity of the entire SLC operation.
As you can see in many ways we have used the 10 years of experience, research and development, as well as customer feedback, to fundamentally redesign the SLC. This process has delivered a revolutionary improvement in the productivity of the SLC operation. This means that our customers now have the opportunity to reap a massive productivity gain and further enhances the reputation of the SLC as the best method for easy and quick loading of shipping containers with heavy, long cargo.
For more information on the 3rd Generation SLC improvements please read the USG Boral Case Study.