History and Mission

With decades of experience in Supply-Chain Logistics, Transport Economics, and Electro-Mechanical Engineering, our founders have combined their talents to create a new paradigm for Shipping-Container transportation.

Industry Background

Using narrow tunnels for the underground transportation of freight to avoid surface congestion, is nothing new. More than a hundred years ago, such a system was deployed beneath the streets of Chicago. The thinking was sound, but the engineering was rather primitive. Today, the congestion problem remains as bad as ever, and particularly so around international ports that service shipping containers. Ports by their very nature present prime opportunities for congestion, and thus disruption to the smooth flow of container freight traffic.

Development of the international ISO specification that defined standard dimensions for shipping units, was a big step forward. The requirement was then for high-efficiency systems to transfer container-freight between ships and nearby distribution hubs, and this has been a huge challenge for most port operators. Huge investment at many of these installations has not always adequately addressed the issue.

The search continues for a cost-effective technique to seamlessly move shipping containers between rail-heads and the seaports. Multiple ‘pick up’ and ‘drop off ‘ points along the delivery path will degrade efficiency with double-handling and additional opportunities to fail. Another problem facing many port operators is the excessive amount of prime real-estate tied up for the temporary storage of containers.

Introducing CF Technologies

In 2015 the founders assembled a small team to investigate common problems faced by port operators. We had no difficulty in identifying shortcomings in systems currently deployed at ports around the world. Economics and productivity were key drivers. Was it possible to design a system for the management of shipping containers that requires less land-usage and infrastructure-capital, with lower operating-costs, than conventional technology?

We presented the results of our early research to the Australian Conference of Economists in July 2016. This led to an ongoing conversation with interested parties in both government and industry. From this point on, we expanded our research by involving the University of Melbourne and other academic institutions.

Behind the scenes, we worked tirelessly to apply new technology to the engineering challenges that had stalled the innovation process at many port facilities. Of necessity, we remained low-key when publicly detailing our technologies until the Intellectual Property was sufficiently protected. Provisional Patents have now been issued covering various unique design aspects.

Market Positioning

The CF Technologies Vision and intended Mission is to facilitate Research and Development, Economic Modelling, and Pilot Installations, with the goal of enabling efficient freight handling between container-ports and inland intermodal exchange hubs. Top priority is given to workforce safety, as well as the safety of any members of the community who could be affected by the chosen scenarios.  Community interests align closely with environmentally friendly solutions, and in that regard, we aim to satisfy every possible demand.

Cost-effective, efficient outcomes for both customers and the shipping industry are also a priority for us.  Productivity-gains and cost-savings flow through to benefit society as a whole. To achieve these goals without a negative impact on the environment might seem like an impossibility, but the number-crunching we have done suggests otherwise. We believe the provision and adoption of CF Technologies designs and processes can significantly reduce the total cost of freight to users throughout the world.

One of the key requirements for an efficient distribution system is that containers can flow steadily and continuously, without any scheduling restrictions. Baggage handling systems that the airlines have developed over the years have become extremely sophisticated, and there are elements of the design that would work well for containers, as long as the engineering challenges could be overcome.

In an oversimplified model, containers could be unloaded from the ship and placed on a steadily moving conveyor-belt. There are practical difficulties that would prevent the use of conveyor systems that are available today. However, the dynamics of this model align closely with the best possible scenario for freight handling.

The Way Ahead

An important consideration for freight systems is that they must integrate seamlessly and as unobtrusively as possible into the surrounding environment. With the flexible rail-architecture options offered by the CFT system, we can satisfy these requirements and minimise any negative impact on the community. It goes without saying that low noise and minimal pollution both need to be accommodated in the final solution.

To achieve our goals, we will continue reaching out to investors and incumbent logistics operators to form partnerships or collaborative joint-ventures. If your organisation fits this description, please make contact.

CF Technologies has been fortunate in having time to stand back from the current processes and explore alternative mechanisms capable of enhancing container transference, while maintaining all paramount objectives.

CFT Mission

Our Mission is to conduct or facilitate research-and-development, studies, trials and pilot-installations, with the aim of achieving maximum efficiency when transferring Freight Containers between ports and their associated intermodal distribution-hubs.  Our top priorities are to focus on community well-being, safe operations, and efficient outcomes for both the customers and the shipping industry. As we evolve, we will continue to strive for an improvement in all aspects of safety, and a reduction in the freight-component cost paid on all consumer-goods throughout the world.
VALUE to SHIPPING and CUSTOMERS Exporters, importers and internal customers, all benefit from faster ship turnaround time and the associated reduction in demurrage costs.  Fast ship turnaround time is a major advantage offered by the CFT system, and this is achieved in two ways.  Firstly, containers can be transferred directly between ships and the transport devices with no bottlenecks or scheduling delays.  The second key advantage is that the transfer of containers between the docks and intermodal-hubs can be scheduled to avoid double-handling and the requirement for temporary storage facilities.  By minimising drop-off and pick-up points along the delivery path, efficiency is significantly improved.
IDENTIFYING CORPORATE OPPORTUNITIESA key driver for us is the belief in the ability of our technology to have a substantial impact on the worldwide container freight industry. We’re highly motivated to develop collaboration with corporations linked to shipping or infrastructure implementations. We are most interested in communicating with organisations who have the vision and influence to improve the environmental purity and competitive position of global port infrastructure.
WORKING with GOVERNMENT and INTERNATIONAL BODIESNational regulations and compliance requirements differ, and we are actively seeking input from governments and international bodies to help ensure we satisfy these regulations at the outset. We receive feedback from logistics organisations and institutions around the world, and present at various conferences to  connect with companies that we believe might benefit from our technology.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT and ACADEMIC COLLABORATIONClose relationships with valued and respected academic institutions provide important validation for the economic modelling and engineering designs we have developed.   This collaboration brings together the combined skills of students, researchers, scientists, engineers, and economists.   Already we are starting to reap the benefits of this effort as the results feed back to directly influence our ongoing development.

CFT Strategies

SAFETYHighest priority is given to the elimination of all possible threats to life and limb.  Because the CFT system is highly automated, the amount of interaction between man and machine is minimised.  With increased robotisation, we aim to reduce the human presence in the hazardous port areas.  Further safety-gains come from relocating the truck-interchange away from congested areas, thus minimising the possibility of any undesirable impact on the surrounding community.  The workforce should also benefit from rewards that are expected to flow from an increase in productivity.
ENVIRONMENTFor society acceptance, infrastructure development must demonstrate an awareness and respect for all environmental aspects of a project.  At CF Technologies, we have made these considerations a core component of our designs and proposed implementations.  For most of the freight delivery path, container-vehicles are encased in a pipe.  This leads to a low-level of noise pollution and also reduces the footprint required for surface sections of an implementation.  In addition, externally powered electric rail-vehicles create minimal carbon-pollution at the point of delivery. Even though our solutions are environmentally friendly, they still provide an efficient and sustainable model for a port to increase its global competitive position.
RETAINING REPUTATIONAn ongoing role for CF Technologies is to maintain an industry-wide knowledge-base compiled from data supplied by existing port-operators who wish to participate.  This information then forms the core of a formal “Zero Defects” improvement program.  Ports participating in this program may be able to obtain a detailed ‘root-cause’ analysis, and identify issues that could benefit from corrective action.  All information, and the studies analysing that information, will be available to all installations and participants in the improvement program.
LONGEVITYBy reinvesting profits from licence fees, consultancy, and possible manufacturing, our business anticipates funding technical development beyond the expiration date of our initial patents.  We will return to Research and Development over time.  As long as CF technologies can provide added-value support to the Container Freight Transfer activities, we will continue to support the industry In collaboration with world-leading-edge logistics users.  Our sustainability will be facilitated by ongoing income from various sources, plus the Zero Defects improvement program and relationships with partner organisations.  We will be around to service technical enquiries well into the future, and to convert helpful customer feedback into possibilities for further innovation and inventions.

We are Creating Solutions Encompassing Innovative and Efficient Mechanisms that will Connect Traders with the Ports.

Our vision is to have all new and expanding ports evaluate CF Technologies designs and processes, and encourage them to identify benefits derived from integrating our technology with their future infrastructure implementations.