Cartainers co-founder Zach Jenkins was a creative director with big-name clients such as Ferrari when COVID-19 essentially shut him out of work. Pivoting quickly, he and his cohorts applied their restless imaginations to the overlooked sector of automotive transport. They surmounted various hurdles and challenges before arriving at a complete reinvention of the modern shipping container, which doubles as a display platform for your sweet ride. Preview models made a splash at Art Basel Miami Beach in December and are available to order now.
When you think of a shipping container, you most likely picture a huge rectangular box made of corrugated metal with zero windows and zero technology. The ones from Cartainers turn that very same picture on its head and in multiple ways. Not only does each container take the form of a massive glass or polycarbonate display (with an option to add metal cladding for more privacy), but it also features tech-savvy touch-ups like temperature and humidity control along with built-in video cameras.
From easy car access to the relatively light 5,500-pound weight to the roomy interior to different strap-down options to the massive transparent walls, each Cartainer leaves no detail unconsidered. Once the car is strapped into place, the container itself is lifted for transport while things like humidity, temperature, doors, lighting, and security sensors can be monitored and controlled via a smartphone app. Bring in an optional SIM card and you can also get global GPS tracking and a cell relay of security footage. Oh, and did we mention that Cartainers use facial recognition to allow for entry? Welcome to the future of automotive transport indeed!
“You can put it on a container ship, you can put it on a train,” said Jenkins of inaugural Cartainer models like the Ceres 001. “From the recreational user up to a large importer-exporter who’s moving a lot of vehicles, we’ve tried to design a system that is as easily transportable as possible.”
Meanwhile, there are still some hurdles to overcome for Jenkins and potential users alike. Due to the custom frame and required battery, for example, Cartainers qualify for top-of-stack only during international transport. There’s also the pricing, which starts at around $40,000 for the basic model and jumps up from there. On the other, if you can afford the kind of car this container was built for, then you can probably afford the container itself. In fact, you may soon accept nothing less.
Still making the promotional rounds, Cartainer will appear at Amelia Island in March and possibly Monterey Car Week in August. Models are available to order now with deliveries expected to start either later this year or early 2025.
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