Transforming landside logistics: A case study on cost reduction and enhanced productivity with Maersk and MatchBox Exchange in Australia

March 22, 2023
Reuse and Exchange

For more than six years, Maersk and MatchBox Exchange have formed a successful partnership that spans multiple markets. It all began in Australia back in 2017, and since then, this collaboration has generated numerous benefits for transport companies, exporters, and importers alike. In this case study, we’ll explore how MatchBox Exchange’s platform for Exchanges and Re-Uses has significantly reduced costs and increased productivity in the Australian market.

Exchanges – Western Australia (WA)

Parties involved

1. Grain exporters

2. Transport companies

3. Maersk and MatchBox Exchange (MB)

What is happening?

Currently, we have shippers sourcing units directly from others in WA via the Exchange feature. This involves the following process:

A) Export shippers (or their subcontracted transport company) make an Exchange post once they get an active release number.
This then, informs others that this party is looking for X units by a specified date, dropped off to a specified location.

B) Other transport companies needing to dehire these units will then offer, and subsequently, Exchange these units with the exporting party.

This helps users leverage each other’s import and export mix to still cut out the empty depots in cases where they can’t make a Re-Use amongst their own business mix.

How this process is practically applied in Western Australia

WA’s large grain shippers will make Exchange posts, requesting units to be dropped off in their yard. Some of these grain exporters are located right amongst the ECP’s at the port, others are located in the outer suburbs beyond the Bibra Lake pocket. This provides import heavy transport companies with faster, cheaper, more efficient dehire alternatives.

The dehiring party will make the offer on MB and dehire their unit straight to the grain exporters’ site, often getting a 5-minute truck turnaround time as opposed to 2 hours, which is what can be expected at some of the Fremantle empty parks.

Value to each party

A) Exporters 

– Get units dropped straight to their yard by others.
This saves them on all the costs associated with uplifting units.

– Get greater access to equipment in cases where the empty depots do not have enough to provide them, or cannot do so in the required timeframe!

B) Importers & their Transport Companies 

– Receive cheaper, and more efficient dehire alternatives.
As a result, they can keep their trucks moving for other work as they aren’t tied up in queues at the empty park.

C) Maersk

– Less units are sent through empty depots, as they are triangulated directly amongst the various import, export, and transport companies of WA. This means that Maersk cuts down their depot costs.

– Maersk export customers are able to more easily secure equipment and Import customers are also able to have their units dehired more easily.

Exchanges in general are where we are seeing the most rapid growth, 238% from Q2 2022 to Q2 2023.


Parties involved

A) Transport companies (predominantly) and shippers

B) Maersk and MatchBox Exchange (MB)

What is happening?

Transport companies with dehire requirements will Re-Use units due for dehire against their export jobs that they need units uplifted against. Shippers with both import and export work can also instantly Re-Use their imports through MB, re-packing the same unit for export without dehiring and re-uplifting another unit.

Maersk and MB share data to have these dehire and uplift moves instantly update, reducing the need for the moves to be done manually via email between various Maersk teams and transport companies/shippers.

Value to each party

A) Transport Companies and their Shippers

– Save on two trips to the empty depot: one for dehire, and another for uplift. This means they are saving on all the costs associated with these trips, such as fuel, tolls, booking fees, empty depot fees. In addition, Shippers are often able to get better rates on their transport costs.

– Transport companies are able to better utilise their fleet and keep them out of empty depot queues. As a result they can better service shippers. Shippers are also able to avoid costs like depot congestion charges from being passed on by their subcontracted cartage company.

– Shippers and transport companies that run 24/7 are able to triangulate in a more timely fashion as data sharing means they do not have to liaise with the staff of the shipping lines and empty parks, who work more regular office hours.

B) Maersk

– Depot savings gained through units not being returned to empty depots.

– Reduced administrative work, as data sharing between MB and Maersk removes the need for Maersk to liaise with parties through email to have moves manually updated.