Being major potential operators of foldable construction containers, marketing to shipping lines and/or container lease companies seems most obvious. There is a major task for the manufacturers of foldable containers to polish the negative image and to convince potential users of system benefits. The potential savings in transhipment and transport costs offer a substantial financial margin for a container design, which might have commercial perspectives. However, substantial marketing is required to change the perception of shipping lines on these savings.
Another difficult obstinate phenomenon is the conservative attitude within the transport industry, which can be largely explained by market forces. The competition is very intense and as a result the profit margins are often small. This mitigates the willingness to invest, particularly in less well-known developments.
In addition, the influence of the standard container on the arrangement of industrial processes should not be underestimated: because of scale advantages industrial processes are optimised to the physical characteristics of the 20 ft and 40 ft standard containers. This is observed at container terminals as well as at depots, but also in the whole organisation of transport in which containers are used. This reinforces an inertia to change logistical processes. Under such circumstances pilot projects are not just instructive, they are necessary to achieve innovations in a complex transport environment.
Of course the merits of foldable containers could be tested in a small pilot, but the real system benefits will only show through above a certain threshold transport volume. Therefore it is important that potential users can also lease the foldable container instead of buying them. In this way the investment risk for the users are reduced to a minimum, and the threshold for trials is scaled down.