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One Really Revolutionary Shipping Innovation Needed

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One Really Revolutionary Shipping Innovation Needed
Post by dobriennm   » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:16 pm

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It may have been mentioned before. but the one really revolutionary shipping innovation needed for Safehold is containerized shipping.

It may be difficult to do in the present situation and political and economic divisions, but it's almost as big an innovation as mass production using standardized measurements/parts.

Break bulk shipping is simply less efficient and more time consuming. Containerized shipping simply revolutionized shipping goods in our time since products could go from a ship to a railroad to local transportation by handling only a container at each step rather than multiple items by hand.

Now, it's not easy to implement since it needs cooperation from trading partners, but maybe if the containers are designed to be small enough to be moved by the present draft lizards or canal boats, it might be possible to start implementing it. Plus, it ought to be possible to implement it within the Charis Empire.
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Re: One Really Revolutionary Shipping Innovation Needed
Post by ywing14   » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:36 pm

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dobriennm wrote:It may have been mentioned before. but the one really revolutionary shipping innovation needed for Safehold is containerized shipping.

It may be difficult to do in the present situation and political and economic divisions, but it's almost as big an innovation as mass production using standardized measurements/parts.

Break bulk shipping is simply less efficient and more time consuming. Containerized shipping simply revolutionized shipping goods in our time since products could go from a ship to a railroad to local transportation by handling only a container at each step rather than multiple items by hand.

Now, it's not easy to implement since it needs cooperation from trading partners, but maybe if the containers are designed to be small enough to be moved by the present draft lizards or canal boats, it might be possible to start implementing it. Plus, it ought to be possible to implement it within the Charis Empire.


Are you talking about making the containers out of steel? I think that's likely prohibitively expensive at the moment.
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Re: One Really Revolutionary Shipping Innovation Needed
Post by evilauthor   » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:36 pm

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ywing14 wrote:Are you talking about making the containers out of steel? I think that's likely prohibitively expensive at the moment.


I think he's talking about standardized size shipping containers. You know, like the kind that trucks haul around in real life.

And such large containers are completely impractical when motorized transport is still so rare and muscle power is the primary means of lifting things short distances.

I suppose some of the short fall can be made up with using dragons to do the hauling. But you'd still need to design and make all the flat bed wagons and trailers needed to move those containers around on land, and then get people who already have perfectly functional wagons to buy them. You'll also need heavy duty cranes to move the containers on and off their transports, which is going to be a problem if one end of a shipping route doesn't have them.

A kind of intermediate compromise is palletized shipping, ie, storing cargo on standardized palettes. But again, you're going to need something other than pure muscle power to move them around while loaded even if it's just a hand drawn dolly. This kind of thing would probably be adopted sooner and eventually lead to standardized containers.

Oh, and because this is a pure infrastructure development, it's likely to happen entirely in the background and we won't know it's actually going on until it becomes plot relevant and we're told it's all done already.
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Re: One Really Revolutionary Shipping Innovation Needed
Post by isaac_newton   » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:56 am

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evilauthor wrote:
ywing14 wrote:Are you talking about making the containers out of steel? I think that's likely prohibitively expensive at the moment.


I think he's talking about standardized size shipping containers. You know, like the kind that trucks haul around in real life.

And such large containers are completely impractical when motorized transport is still so rare and muscle power is the primary means of lifting things short distances.

I suppose some of the short fall can be made up with using dragons to do the hauling. But you'd still need to design and make all the flat bed wagons and trailers needed to move those containers around on land, and then get people who already have perfectly functional wagons to buy them. You'll also need heavy duty cranes to move the containers on and off their transports, which is going to be a problem if one end of a shipping route doesn't have them.

A kind of intermediate compromise is palletized shipping, ie, storing cargo on standardized palettes. But again, you're going to need something other than pure muscle power to move them around while loaded even if it's just a hand drawn dolly. This kind of thing would probably be adopted sooner and eventually lead to standardized containers.

Oh, and because this is a pure infrastructure development, it's likely to happen entirely in the background and we won't know it's actually going on until it becomes plot relevant and we're told it's all done already.



I had the vague feeling [but could easily be wrong here] that the RCN steam cargo ships used containerisation
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Re: One Really Revolutionary Shipping Innovation Needed
Post by schoeffelk   » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:00 am

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Multiple issues.

For sail shipping on Safehold, getting the containers into and out of the hold would be cumbersome. The dock cranes needed would have to be very maneuverable to deal with the rigging and masts. Deck storage is a problem when working the rigging.

Steam shipping has its own problems. Fuel takes up a significant portion of the hold space. Deck space is precarious. If not loaded correctly, weather changes can be deadly. This has been seen with various warships, sail and steam, previously.

There was significant sail shipping into the early 20th century.
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Re: One Really Revolutionary Shipping Innovation Needed
Post by PeterZ   » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:42 am

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schoeffelk wrote:Multiple issues.

For sail shipping on Safehold, getting the containers into and out of the hold would be cumbersome. The dock cranes needed would have to be very maneuverable to deal with the rigging and masts. Deck storage is a problem when working the rigging.

Steam shipping has its own problems. Fuel takes up a significant portion of the hold space. Deck space is precarious. If not loaded correctly, weather changes can be deadly. This has been seen with various warships, sail and steam, previously.

There was significant sail shipping into the early 20th century.

Designing merchant steamers to use containerized cargo may well be what Duke Delthak wants to do. Dohlar will see how efficient it will make their transhipment business. Transfering containers from ships to rail and from rail to ships will be a huge part of the shipping expense Dohlar will face. With Siddermark becomming a basket case, Dohlar will be the principle portal for Charisian goods entering the Border Kingdoms and Temple Lands. Saving labor costs during transhipment will be huge, almost as much as saving the time required to transfer goods.

The secondary goals are to increase the need for steel. Containers made of anything else will be either too heavy or not strong enough to pack efficiently on board ship. That is important for a plethora of reasons the chief one being to give more places, like Sodar's Crescent Mountains and the ranges in N Harchong, value in the emerging economy. The need for raw materials, the viability of steam powered rail transport will turn many inland nations into economic powerhouses. It will make perviously non-viable places like the Barren Lands and Trellheim much more interesting propositions. Hand in hand with the increased value of raw materials will be the desperate need for labor to extract those resources.

I can see refugees fleeing Siddermark joining colonizing efforts in Silverlode. I can see ex-serfs from N Harchong joing colonies in the Barren Lands. I would love to see Delfehrahk organizing Sodar and Selkar as a counter weight to the S Harchong- Desnair axis. All of this will be based on gaining access to the raw materials the modern economy will demand. containerized shipping will help increase that demand quite nicely.
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Re: One Really Revolutionary Shipping Innovation Needed
Post by ErikM   » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:28 am

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I'm not sure anything like the ISO shipping container will appear on Safehold any time soon. The large cranes and other equipment you would need to move those containers around simply don't exist.

That said, you might see various types of smaller containers pop up from various enterprises to handle their own product transportation needs. Large iron shod wooden crates for transporting coal, loaded onto railcars or dragon wagons as units, are one example of this.

What might appear are four-way wooden shipping pallets along with the pallet jack and crane lifting forks (I don't know the actual name for this) to lift/move them. While the ISO container was the death knell of breakbulk shipping and the classic dockworker, many people might not realise what the pallet and jack brought about in warehouses and rail/truck transport. One thing though, pick at least one pallet size that can easily fit through most doors.
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Re: One Really Revolutionary Shipping Innovation Needed
Post by isaac_newton   » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:14 am

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ErikM wrote:I'm not sure anything like the ISO shipping container will appear on Safehold any time soon. The large cranes and other equipment you would need to move those containers around simply don't exist.

That said, you might see various types of smaller containers pop up from various enterprises to handle their own product transportation needs. Large iron shod wooden crates for transporting coal, loaded onto railcars or dragon wagons as units, are one example of this.

What might appear are four-way wooden shipping pallets along with the pallet jack and crane lifting forks (I don't know the actual name for this) to lift/move them. While the ISO container was the death knell of breakbulk shipping and the classic dockworker, many people might not realise what the pallet and jack brought about in warehouses and rail/truck transport. One thing though, pick at least one pallet size that can easily fit through most doors.



well - we do know that they use large crates already - dont forget that the escapees from Clyntans purge were hidden in sledge carried units - and quite comfortably by the textev.
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Re: One Really Revolutionary Shipping Innovation Needed
Post by PeterZ   » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:48 am

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isaac_newton wrote:
ErikM wrote:I'm not sure anything like the ISO shipping container will appear on Safehold any time soon. The large cranes and other equipment you would need to move those containers around simply don't exist.

That said, you might see various types of smaller containers pop up from various enterprises to handle their own product transportation needs. Large iron shod wooden crates for transporting coal, loaded onto railcars or dragon wagons as units, are one example of this.

What might appear are four-way wooden shipping pallets along with the pallet jack and crane lifting forks (I don't know the actual name for this) to lift/move them. While the ISO container was the death knell of breakbulk shipping and the classic dockworker, many people might not realise what the pallet and jack brought about in warehouses and rail/truck transport. One thing though, pick at least one pallet size that can easily fit through most doors.



well - we do know that they use large crates already - dont forget that the escapees from Clyntans purge were hidden in sledge carried units - and quite comfortably by the textev.


Dang! I forgot about that. Containers may well be a logical step if steel containers can be produced more cheeply than the current wooden crate. I can see Charis designing rubber wheeled steem framed wagons capable of supporting those containers to be drawn by dragons as well as steam tractors. Railroads and trucks all over the countryside! Country music hear we come!
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