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APL & TRANSAMERICA LEASING TO INTRODUCE NEW CONTAINER DESIGN; FIRST 110-HIGH CONTAINER TO BE COMPATIBLE WITH INTERMODAL SYSTEM

 OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- APL Land Transport (APL), the domestic container transportation arm of American President Companies (APC)(NYSE: APS), said it will pair up with Transamerica Leasing Inc., a unit of Transamerica Corp. (NYSE: TA), to jointly introduce a new intermodal container. The design -- which represents a new generation of the existing 53-foot container -- will offer increased cubic capacity and is therefore expected to result in improved loading and shipping productivity.
 "The new container will be especially attractive to manufacturers, distributors and retailers of low density products such as cereals, appliances, furniture, clothing and other goods that are cubic rather than weight-intensive," said Michael Goh, senior vice president of stacktrain services for APL. He added that the company has just taken delivery of a prototype of the new design for structural testing, and, if those tests are successful, will place 30 units into service for field testing and to further confirm commercial utility.
 The new container features a 110-inch-high door opening and an unobstructed interior height of 110 inches, versus the 107-inch height of first generation 53-foot containers, and yet is completely compatible with existing intermodal equipment, Goh said.
 Compatibility Is Crucial
 Goh noted that compatibility with standard intermodal containers and related support equipment is crucial for the transportation industry and its customers to obtain the inherent efficiencies of intermodalism. "These efficiencies depend on the ability to transfer containerized freight smoothly from one carrier or mode of transportation to another," he said.
 While other designs for a 110-inch-high container have been proposed, they lack this basic compatibility, he said. Also, non- compatible containers would require huge capital investments for construction of special chassis (the low-slung trailers on which containers are pulled by trucks) and lifting devices (for transferring containers from truck to train), ultimately raising the cost of the system.
 Alan B. Messing, who as vice president-domestic intermodal has project marketing responsibility for Transamerica Leasing, said it is important that container equipment be designed and built to adhere to the operating, structural and safety standards of the industry. "We believe this design will meet all standards established by the American Association of Railroads (AAR) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)," he said, adding: "Transamerica is enthusiastic about this project because we are offering an innovative intermodal container option to promote growth in the industry." He also noted that "APL is a pioneer of domestic containerization, having successfully introduced the 48- and 53-foot units in the 1980s."
 Improved Fuel Efficiency
 An added benefit of the new aluminum-clad container being tested by APL and Transamerica Leasing is that it is believed to be 1,000 pounds lighter than other designs that have been proposed, which means improved fuel efficiency for railroads and truckers and ultimately better overall economics, APL's Goh said. It is also more than 1,700 pounds lighter than the first generation 53-foot container that has been in use in North America since 1988.
 APL said it configured certain of the container's structural and operating elements so as to achieve the capacity and operational characteristics it sought.
 Transamerica Leasing is one of the world's leading lessors of intermodal transportation equipment. The company leases both standard and special containers, including tank containers and refrigerated containers, as well as rail (intermodal) trailers, and container chassis, serving customers through 300 locations in 50 countries.
 APL Land Transport Services is part of the American President Companies group, which provides container transportation services in North America, Asia and the Middle East, through an intermodal system combining ocean, rail and truck transportation.
 -0- 1/20/93
 /CONTACT: Alan C. Courtney of APL, 510-272-7456; Frank Sinclair, Transamerica Leasing, 914-397-2640; or Steve Potash of Potash & Co., 510-261-1570, for APL/
 (APS TA)


CO: APL Land Transport; American President Companies; Transamerica
 Leasing; Transamerica Corp. ST: California IN: TRN SU: PDT


TM-SG -- SF001 -- 6808 01/20/93 10:46 EST
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Date:Jan 20, 1993
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