Sioen solutions for multi-modal transport

It is commonly known that Sioen Industries offers textile solutions for numerous sectors. As there is an increase in multi-modal trailer and container traffic, we have answered the demand for adapted safety solutions with innovative products.

Multi-modal transport

There are currently no exact figures on the use of multi-modal trailers, but there clearly is a tendency towards sustainable transport. Multi-modal means that more than one transportation mode is used, i.e. a combination of rail, road, sea and/or air. The main difference with intermodal transport, is that one carrier is responsible for the different modes of transportation.

In the past, long distances were covered with trucks on the road. This, however, proved to be too challenging for the environment and therefore transportation modes are more and more combined. It, thus, frequently happens that a trailer is shipped from one country to another and is then transported by train from the port to another area or country on the mainland. The ‘last mile’, the last part of the route that ends at the destination itself is often done by truck, as it is the easiest way to arrive at a particular company or end user. For the ‘last mile’, companies increasingly choose trucks that are more environmentally friendly than others.

Special adaptations: swap bodies

Freight containers can be adapted to multi-modal transport. Swap bodies are lightweight, because of which fuel is saved during transport. They can be placed on the same kinds of trucks, railroad cars and trailers that are designed for shipping containers, thanks to the dimensions of their bottom corner fittings. They are, however, not stackable, and must be lifted by the bottom frame. Some versions have twistlocks that can be used to lift them, which makes transport on units for sea containers possible.

Many swap bodies are equipped with retractile legs under their frame. That makes it easier to leave it at a certain destination or to put it on another carriage, as no crane is needed. Swap bodies often have more doors or sliding panels than standard ISO containers, making loading and unloading faster.

As a textile solution provider, Sioline has a large range of fabrics that are suited for side curtains and swap bodies. As a trailer should have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years and some operations during transport easily cause wear and tear, they have to be of high quality. For curtainsiders, our B6000 is often chosen, which is our most popular fabric for side curtains. When it comes to multimodal transport, the B6000 is often combined with the B5003 or with our Carapax Rail, both spark-resistant truck and train roof material. In addition, Carapax rail provides torsional strength. If you choose to add anti-theft protection, we recommend our Siosteel composite or Detector. Siosteel is primarily used for intrusion resistant truck and train tarpaulins and side curtains and provides entry-level anti-theft protection. Detector, on the other hand, is an even more advanced product. There is even more. Thanks to our large R&D department, we managed to find solutions to some common safety problems.

Sioen safety solutions

Sioen provides solutions to three major safety problems that can occur with multi-modal trailers with side curtains. First, Sioen offers an innovative solution that stops thieves from breaking in and alerts you the moment they try to break in. Second, one of the large problems when using multi-modal trailers on railroad cars, is that sparks might form and burn holes in the side curtains and truck roofs. Third, there is currently a problem with refugees entering trailers to cross borders.

Our ‘Carapax Rail’ composite, existing of an Aramide woven structure gives extra torsion strength to the trailer roof. Thanks to its spark-extinguishing properties, ‘Carapax Rail’ also prevents burning holes originated from sparks created by the electrification cables from the rail tracks,

Our ‘Protector’ product range for trailing intrusion protection consists of textile and steel wire. ‘Protector’ stops deep cuts made by knives. In addition, it provides extra abrasion resistance for the side curtains during pallet loading and unloading activities.

WABCO, now part of the ZF Group, powers this technology via its advanced Fleet Management Solution (FMS), TX-TRAILERGUARD™. By connecting the woven structure in the side curtains to its digital FMS solution, an alarm is automatically triggered should the tarpaulin be tampered with. Drivers are alerted through an audible warning or an in-cab notification. An alarm is also sent to the fleet back office in real time through WABCO’s TX-CONNECT™ solution.

When combined with WABCO’s OptiLock™, an advanced wireless electronic door lock which enables remote live monitoring and management of trailer access, fleets can now further improve their ability to control potential trailer breaches in real time.

In contrast to similar solutions, our system does not generate false alarms. It does happen frequently with other solutions, which might cause the drivers to turn off the security system, which can have damaging effects to the company. The system was first applied in full body trailers. Throughout the testing phase, there was no false alarm. Full body trailers were chosen because they are used to transport more expensive goods, such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, etc. and they, of course, need security measures. .

The use of the Detector system is beneficial for your company, as it prevents the theft of the transported goods and it reduces the costs of repairing the trailer they tampered with. The same system can also be used to prevent refugees from entering trailers. Detector is currently tested in three curtainsiders.