It is not common for competing businesses to work in collaboration with each other. But if it could save you time, reduce your costs, and bring in more business, would you consider it?
This is a question that shipping container transport operators are starting to ask themselves.
As the industry embraces the benefits of digital processes and starts looking for new ways to reduce costs and disruptions in supply chains, there is an opportunity for transport businesses to adopt (and benefit from) more streamlined, strategic, and collaborative processes.
Indeed, emerging technology is helping the container transport industry to drive more efficient empty container management and reduce the use of depots by offering digital container reuse (or container triangulation) as a viable alternative. However, it begs the question: is this alone sufficient?
Transport operators continue to wear the cost of wasteful supply chains.
Container triangulation, which is often synonymous with reusing import containers for export purposes, provides significant time and cost-saving advantages for companies that can reuse empty containers in their possession – reducing the frequent need to transit through depots.
It’s a great alternative to depots, that many transport businesses are adopting. However, what if import containers don’t match their export needs? In this case, reuse doesn’t prove to be a viable alternative, which can leave operators with little choice but to drive back and forth between depots to pick up and drop off containers. Leading to wasteful processes as illustrated below:
1) Lost time and revenue opportunities: Driving back and forth from depots to collect and return containers is wasted use of trucks that could be completing other paid jobs.
2) Higher costs & increased CO2 emissions: Every trip to and from a depot incurs extra fuel costs coupled with depot charges. Additionally, every truck trip all the way to the depot means a higher contribution to CO2 emissions.
3) Dealing with congestion and added delays: Depot queues frequently cause frustration and stress for drivers and operators, leading to detrimental impacts. Moreover, delays in returning containers lead to increased costs and operational inefficiencies.
Innovative industry leaders have recognized these challenges and are creating new ways for container triangulation to extend past reuse – through the power of collaboration
Harnessing advanced technology to explore additional opportunities for container triangulation.
For transport businesses unable to reuse their import containers for export requirements, an alternative option exists: enabling businesses to access their own network in a safe, secure, and easy way on MatchBox Exchange’s platform – via Exchanges.
This central neutral container triangulation platform collaborates with top global shipping lines through EDI integration, providing shippers, freight forwarders, and trucking companies in multiple APAC markets with the convenience of requesting or offering empty containers (to and from neighboring businesses) as per their import or export needs.
So, how do Exchanges work?
If you need an empty container for export purposes, you can raise a container Exchange request letting other nearby users know what type of container you’re in need of. They can then offer you their empty container.
Alternatively, if businesses want to offer unneeded containers, their transport operators can create a notification advising other businesses that they have empty containers available for Exchange.
Benefits of Exchanges help hundreds of users to:
1) Access more and better choices: Creating visibility for parties that have or need containers, eliminating the need to transit through depots.
2) Increased flexibility: Providing more options as opposed to dealing with constraints imposed by the depot.
3) Faster turnaround times: Enhancing productivity through collaboration.
4) Reduced transport costs: Minimising trips to and from depots, along with associated costs and fees.
5) Improved productivity: Optimising fleet utilization
If you’re looking to adopt advanced digital practices into your operations and are looking to decrease the cost and time of container transportation, you can try the MatchBox Exchange platform for yourself with a demo.