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Shipping, Law

Trailer Bridge Granted Patent On Vehicle Transportation Modules

Patent Covers Loading And Unloading; Another Pending On Triplestack Box Carriers


January 30, 2003
Copyright © 2003 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Trailer Bridge announced the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) issued on Jan. 7 a patent on a method to load and unload vehicles into Vehicle Transportation Modules (VHT).

A VTM is a 53-foot-long container that can accommodate three vehicles in a 102-inch-wide steel unit. The steel structure prevents damage and minimizes handling as the cars travel between the U.S. and Puerto Rico. VTMs are multimodal and can also be used in truck and rail transportation. Additionally, the containers are available in different heights to accommodate trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs).

The patented vehicle loading and unloading method combines load-on / load-off and roll-on / roll-off handling techniques customized to the VTMs. To date, Trailer Bridge has transported more than 20,000 vehicles between the U.S. and Puerto Rico using this method.

"We have received a number of inquiries related to our VTM container technology," said Trailer Bridge President & CEO Ralph Heim. "The potential uses for the safe and damage-free movement of vehicles over water, rail, and the road are quite extensive." The initial patent on the VTM--which was invented by Heim, Vice President of Operations J. Edward Morley, and consulting engineer P.W. Shahani--was assigned to Trailer Bridge in 2002.

Trailer Bridge also filed a patent application in 1998 related to methods used in loading, unloading, and moving freight on its patented Triplestack Box Carrier vessels. The company’s patent advisers continue to respond to USPTO observations related to the application.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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