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Publication numberUS3506152 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 14, 1970
Filing dateAug 16, 1968
Priority dateAug 16, 1968
Publication numberUS 3506152 A, US 3506152A, US-A-3506152, US3506152 A, US3506152A
InventorsStollman Irving
Original AssigneePolycon Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shipping container
US 3506152 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 14, 1970 I. STOLLMAN SHIPPING CONTAINER 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 16.- 1968 INVENTOR IRVING STOLLMAN BY 64% M,

ATTORNEYS p l 14, 19-70 I. STOLLMAN SHIPPING CONTAINER 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 16, 1968 INVENTOR IRVING. STOLLMAN v q 56 ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3,506,152 SHIPPING CONTAINER Irving Stollman, Oak Park, Mich., assignor to Polycon Industries, Inc., River Rouge, Mich. Filed Aug. 16, 1968, Ser. No. 753,110

Int. Cl. B65d 87/00, 7/0

US. Cl. 220-15 1 Claini ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to the containerized method of shipping freight.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of the container of this invention.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view, partially fragmented, of the area within Circle A of FIG. 1, showing the construction of a typical latch.

FIG. 3 is an end view of the container of FIG. 1, shown in place upon a supporting pallet.

FIG. 4 is a side view of a tractor-trailer combination loaded with assembled containers made in accordance with this invention.

FIG. 5 is a side view showing the tractor-trailer of FIG. 4 loaded with the now empty and nestable containers.

FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of a modified center section.

FIG. 7 is an exploded perspective view showing a portion of a modified container, and showing in phantom a large object to be shipped within the container.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring to FIG. 1 in particular of the drawings, the novel container 10 of the invention comprises a closed end section 12, an open end section 14 provided with a removable door 16, and a center section 18. Each of these four components is preferably formed of a single piece of molded polyurethane foam. As best shown in FIG. 3, the walls of container 10 are slightly convex for additional strength. The preferred dimensions are eightyeight inches high by eighty-eight inches wide. This size permits the most efficient use of space on piggy-back type truck bodies now being used for shipment on overseas freighters. Center section 18 may be one, three or four feet long as desired, while end sections 12 and 14 are each two feet long.

The components are assembled and locked together by a series of standard latches illustrated in FIG. 2. Each latch comprises a male latch element 20 and a female latch element 22, each of these components being molded directly into the polyurethane foam wall of the container. The male unit 20 has a semicircular locking element 24 pivotally mounted at 26 on a pivot pin having an internal hex socket. Rotation of the locking element between its locked and unlocked positions may thus be accomplished by inserting a hexagonal wrench into the 3,506,152 Patented Apr. 14, 1970 socket of pivot pin 26. The female latch element 22 has a pinched opening created by opposed depressions 28. The locking element 24 has a flange along its curved rim to form a T-shaped section.

When the two latch elements are brought together and the locking element is rotated counterclockwise from the position of FIG. 2, the flange of locking element 24 passes behind the pinched portions 28 of female latch member 22, thus drawing the elements together and locking them firmly in place. Accidental rotation of latch member 24 is prevented by means of a series of teeth 30 at the edge of the flange which yieldably engage a ridge 32 formed on the inside of the casing of male latch member 20. Latch elements 20 and 22 may be further anchored within the container walls by screws or the like extending through holes 34 and embedded within the foam. This type of latch is simple to operate, yet concealed and relatively tamper proof.

Each corner joint of container 10* has two pairs of these latches, with the left (as viewed in FIG. 1) container section at each joint having the male latch element. Thus, end section 14 may be assembled to center section 17 or directly to end section 12 if the additional length provided by the center section is not required.

Door 16 is snugly fastened to open end section 14 by means of similar latching elements oriented in the plane of the opening. Shoulder 36 in door 16 and step 38 in the opening of end section 14 assure a firm seating of the door in the opening.

Also shown in FIG. 2. is a flexible sealing bead 39 which is secured along each of the abutting edges of the container components to provide an air and moisture-proof seal at all joints.

Referring to FIG. 3, the container 10 is shown resting upon a dish-shaped molded pallet 40. In practice, the container may be bolted to the pallet to form a semi-permanent connection. The pallet is not only concave on its upper face to receive the container, but is also concave on its lower face to match the top surface of another container, permitting these units to be securely stacked on top ofv each other. Cutouts 42 are provided on each side for receiving the lifting elements of a fork lift truck. Pallet 40 may also be fabricated as two laterally spaced segments, each running the full width of the container under end sections 12, 14. Pallet 40 may also be provided with a series of grooved rollers (not shown) which facilitate movement of the container and which can be guided along tracks secured to the bed of a truck or the like.

Where the customers needs require it, the interior of the container may be provided with a removable egg crate type of partitioning, so as to provide convenient and secure storage for smaller parts.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5 of the drawings, there is shown a conventional tractor-trailer combination having a small or pup trailer connected in tandem. Eight of the five-foot long containers are shown arranged on the forty-foot long main trailer, while two additional containers are arranged on the twelve-foot long pup trailer 46.

For the return or empty shipment, the pyramidal shape of the end enclosures 12 and 14 permit these components to nest within each other as shown at 48. It has been found feasible in practice to so shape the components that a two-foot long end section can nest into another one with only six inches or so projecting out of the outer one, so that twenty nested end sections consume only about twelve feet of length on the trailer. Furthermore, each pallet 40 can be placed in the six inches of space left inside and between the nested end sections. The center sections 18 are stacked together at 50. Enough room is ice left over for the pup trailer 46 to ride on top of the main trailer 44, thus implifying maneuvering of the truck and reducing tire wear as well.

A modified container center section is illustrated in FIG. 6. This center section corresponds to section 18 of FIG. 1, but comprises two identical C-shaped halves 54 formed by splitting section 17 by a vertical longitudinal plane. These halves are assembled to each other with the same latch elements 20, 22 used elsewhere. The purpose of this modification is to permit these halves to nest within each other during return shipment, thus saving additional space.

A further modified form of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 7. The modified end section 56 has a cut-out portion 58 in its base. A similar cut-out would be provided in the opposite end section (not illustrated). This central opening is dimensioned to receive a specially designed pallet-base 60, having a lower portion 60 which fits into cut-out 518. The upper or larger face 64 of palletbase 60 may be specially dimensioned and formed to act as a pallet for a large machine 66 to be shipped within the container. This method of assembly permits a large machine to be actually assembled while sitting on the pallet-base, so that its movement even during production is simplified.

Several advantages result from the use of this unique container system. The ability to nest the sections means that the empty container consumes much less space during its return to the point of origin. In the case of freight travelling by boat, this means a considerable cost saving, since the rate is based upon volume rather than weight. In the case of shipment by truck, this permits additional live freight to be carried on the same truck, or it permits piggyback shipment of the pup trailer as shown in FIG. 5.

L1 shipment by rail, advantage can be taken of the cheaper rates available on fiat cars, without the need for utilizing the higher rate boxcars since the containers are Weatherproof and need not be enclosed. In shipment by plane, the shipping rate formula is based primarily on weight and therefore the fact that the unique containers of this invention weigh approximately onehalf that of comparable volume prior art containers means a substantial saving.

Less handling is required, since there is no need to break down multiple packages into individual packages prior to arrival at the ultimate destination. Since the container is readily assembled and disassembled and also reusable, the costly and wasteful and time-consuming job of tearing apart and erecting a cardboard or wooden container is eliminated. v

The container is more secure, since it is sealed throughout transit, reducing the chance of pilferage and permitting a controlled temperature or humidity environment to be maintained. The urethane material forms an excellent insulator for this purpose. This insulation advantage is important, since condensation and mildew resulting from severe temperature changes is a substantial problem in shipments into and out of the tropics Furthermore, the interior can be pressurized to further prevent inward leakage of moisture.

Because the container is sturdy and weatherproof, it can be stored indefinitely outside, thus reducing the cost of storage. The modular sizes permits these con tainers to be used as part of an automatic system of automatically routing and retrieving container units into and from a programmed warehouse system, which system can be out of doors if desired.

Several additional advantages accrue from the shape of this unique container. The fact that its exterior is perfectly smooth means that no projections exist to be caught by a fork of a carelessly handled lift truck. This has been a problem which causes considerable additional damage to containers and goods during handling. Secondly, the convex shape of each side causes the container to rock slightly when dropped, thus reducing the severity of impact to both container and goods. Thirdly, the convex shape of each face permits the container to be lifted by a sling which has a horizontally oriented adjustable loop which girdles the container and which is tightened to fit just below the midpoint of maximum circumference. Hence, the container can be lifted by crane or winch without the necessity of passing anything under the container. This means, for example, that these waterproof containers can be floated in the water, towed by small boat from a shallow or otherwise inaccessible dock out to deep water and lifted aboard a freighter with a simple circumferential loop. Similarly, they can be lashed down with such a loop located just above the midpoint bulge.

I now claim:

1. A large, modular, reusable and lightweight shipping container suitable for u'se as the ultimate outside enclosure for freight shipped by truck, airplane, boat and the like, comprising:

a pair of substantially identically dimensionedshelllike end sections, each comprising a generally rectangular box shape structure, having five enclosing walls to form the top, bottom, two sides and one end, respectively, of said section, and each of said end sections having one fully open end;

each of said end sections being slightly higher and wider at its open end than at its closed end to create a slightly tapered truncated four-side pyramidal structure, whereby said end sections may be selectively nested within each other for storage with a minimum consumption of space;

said bottom wall of each of said end sections having a large cutout portion communicating with said open end, whereby a substantially centrally located opening is created in the bottom of an assembled container;

said container further comprising a bottom wall insert panel so shaped and dimensioned as to be snugly insertable into said bottom opening, the upper face of said insert panel further serving as a customformed pallet for firmly supporting and mounting a iarge object to be shipped in said container;

and securing means connected to said end sections for selectively abutting and connecting and locking said open ends of said end sections to each other to create a completely enclosed container.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,125,822 1/1915 Dodds 220-4 2,300,259 10/ 1942 Kueppers. 2,982,395 5/ 196 1 Rados.

FOREIGN PATENTS 197,270 9/ 1957 Austria. 997,446 1/1952 France. 883,960 12/1961 Great Britain.

JOSEPH R. LECLAIR, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 220-4

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1125822 *Sep 12, 1913Jan 19, 1915Harry G DoddsSheet-metal barrel.
US2300259 *Apr 6, 1940Oct 27, 1942Wright Aeronautical CorpSealed engine container
US2982395 *Dec 8, 1958May 2, 1961Harbor Boat Building CompanyReusable shipping container
AT197270B * Title not available
FR997440A * Title not available
GB883960A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4596192 *Mar 3, 1980Jun 24, 1986Daimler-Benz AktiengesellschaftUniversal vehicle system for the public local traffic
US5474195 *Jan 24, 1995Dec 12, 1995Pai; Ming Y.Built-up basket
U.S. Classification220/1.5, 220/4.26
International ClassificationB65D88/00, B65D8/04, B65D8/14
Cooperative ClassificationB65D88/005
European ClassificationB65D88/00A