Gotham Grazer Blog

When Wasted Space Becomes Opportunity

Design student Philippe Hohlfeld is looking to shake up the shipping industry in a major way. 

After learning that China exports twice as much as it imports, Philippe Hohlfeld was curious as to what happens to the extra shipping containers that lack cargo.  The answer? Nothing - they are shipped back to China, empty and unused.  Hohlfeld saw this as an incredible business opportunity and came up with GrowFrame - a hydroponic system that is not only tailored to produce greens within the closed containers, but that can fold up when not in use.

“I was obsessed with finding something that I could manufacture while shipping,” says Hohlfeld. “The problem is that most products require enormous energy, large machinery and multiple processes. Farming, however, requires relatively little energy, only needs nutrients and plants, and after one process, the whole thing is finished. It was a perfect fit for manufacturing in containers.”

Hohlfeld acknowledges that his project is ambitious, but we can all agree that this would be a great way to use an immense amount of empty space.  Check out the article for more details on how GrowFrame works and why it would be so beneficial!