Yoshinari Nishiki is an artist and researcher based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Over the past ten years, Yoshinari has conducted a number of hacking practices: the subjects included a noodle bar, a corner shop, a greeting, a transport system, a Chinese restaurant, bananas, a catering service, a currency, tree climbing, and a programming language. Since Yoshinari moved to Rotterdam, his primary focus largely shifted to logistics systems, running projects that his collaborator professor Lori Tavasszy from TU Delft describes as "ridiculing the scale in logistics" - free transport by crowd, moving a mountain of agricultural produce with food couriers, and single-handedly flipping a 20-foot container. In 2020, Yoshinari continues working on the concept of "one-container container ships" with researchers from TU Delft.
Hacking ISO Shipping Container Corner - Mobilizing a TEU in a Way You Never Imagined
Shipping containers are a backbone of our civilization, being involved with 90 percent of all the products that circulate around the globe today. The 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU) contributed a significant cost reduction in the handling of goods by introducing intermodality for freight transport. More precisely speaking, ISO 1161 shipping container corners are the hidden building block within a container which "allows for cranes and other lifting and carrying equipment to attach themselves to and move each element of a load in a uniform way" (Fuller 2005).
An ISO container corner has three holes. However, when a container is locked on a truck, a vessel, or in between other containers, a single so-called twistlock is attached to either the bottom/top or a side hole. In other words, only one twistlock is used per corner and there are never two twistlocks applied to the same corner simultaneously. By breaking this taboo, a shipping container can effectively be transformed into a barrel, allowing one person to move it, completely manually.
The system consists of three different components: "lifting spindles" to lift a container up by 200mm, "custom-made steel wheels" that can securely be locked into ISO container corners, and "a vehicle salvaging inflatable bag" with a manual pump.
In this presentation, Yoshinari explains in what process and supporting environment he managed to pull off the container rolling project - without having any engineering background.