TankContainerFinder.com was officially launched in Rotterdam today. The start-up matches supply and demand for containerised transport of liquids, gasses, ‘food and feed’ worldwide. Cargo and tank containers are matched via a user friendly online platform, which will result in efficiency, cost savings and more sustainability. ‘It’s great that this initiative originates in Rotterdam’, says Lida van ’t Veer, Business Manager at the Rotterdam Port Authority. ‘The Port of Rotterdam increasingly serves as a breeding ground for logistic and maritime start-ups.’
Finding a tank container is not an easy task. Despite the fact that, according to the International Tank Container Organisation, there are around 458,200 units in circulation, not every tank container is suitable for every cargo. There are also many different types, all designated with a unique T number, suitable for specific cargoes of chemicals, gases, oils and other liquid and solid bulk products.
‘On average, between 50,000 and 80.000 units lay idle’, says co-founder Léon de Bruin. ‘This is not only because of the many different types, but also because there has to be one available in your vicinity.’ Thanks to his and his partner, Jeroen Koppenaal’s, contacts in the sector, they came up with the idea of starting up a marketplace for tank containers. ‘We heard of a shipper in Houston that had telephoned a lessor in Rotterdam to have a specific type sent over to transport chicken fat. That lessor rang around its network and found the required tank container 700 metres from the shipper’s location in Houston. We then realised that a world of opportunity using an intelligent logistics matchmaker awaited us.’
All relevant data is entered and a match is found via a simple menu on the website. The first deals have already been concluded during the beta phase and the number of parties participating from all over the world is also growing rapidly. De Bruin: ‘That has exceeded our expectations. There is great interest; also among the major players.’
De Bruin realizes that once the start-up lifts off, this will have an impact on the sector. ‘There is a lot of secrecy about who has what quantities available. The market is vastly fragmented worldwide with 3,000 suppliers of tank containers and more than 10,000 companies on the demand side. Via TankContainerFinder.com participants get into contact with each other in a clever and discrete way. That is only a good thing for all parties concerned. The entire sector ultimately stands to benefit from that efficiency gain, not to mention the importance of the sustainable impact factor.