The total container turnover of Russian seaports in 2017 amounted to 4.62 million TEUs, however, empty containers occupied 40% of the export traffic. In the same year, Russian railways transported about 4 million TEUs, but 32.6% of them were empty. Such significant amount of empty traffic causes problems for Russian transportation sector. It is notable that many recent studies reveal that foldable containers may be an effective and innovative solution to the empty container traffic problem. Furthermore, Moon et al. (2013) noted that foldable containers could become cheaper and their use is going to be more beneficial in case of an extensive adoption of container-folding technologies. Konings (2005) found that foldable containers might lead to substantial net benefits in the total chain of container transport, if they were used more extensively in the transportation chain.
Russia has a great potential role in the global transportation system, primarily due to its geographical location. Today, the world transportation system’s development tends toward global integration. In order to become a major participant, Russia must not rely on its successful geographical location only, because without proper technical innovations this advantage is not going to be enough. Thus, it would be very unwise for Russian container transportation executives to overlook such promising technology as foldable containers.
In this paper, we studied the opportunities for foldable container technology application in Russian transportation industry; the factors that may promote or hamper the application process were analyzed as well. To inquire the professional opinion on the empty container traffic issue and important aspects of containerized shipments, the survey were conducted for subsequent Factor Analysis and ANOVA. The final goal of the survey was to determine the market’s interest in foldable containers. In addition, in order to contribute to the knowledge of foldable containers potential gains, the Cost–Benefit analysis along with the Sensitivity Analysis of Busan-Vostochny-Moscow route (maritime/continental concept) were conducted. Further, on the port-to-port concept, the estimates were adopted from the 2005-2017 data for Busan - Vladivostok/Vostochny container route.