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Hamburger Hafen / Containerschiff © / Christian Spahrbier

Hamburg's xChange aiming to lower costs of container logisitics

Start-up offering solutions and savings - empty containers soon to be bygone

The Hamburg-based xChange start-up is the world’s first online platform for exchanging unwanted containers. Now, the company is aiming to drastically cut runs with empty containers and slash logistics costs. One in three of the millions of containers moved every day is empty. xChange is collaborating with partners including carriers, leasing companies, dealers and turning processes digital to increase efficiency and boost growth across the industry.

Online platform for one-way container movements

Using third-party containers on one-way journeys is easy thanks to the online platform that relies on intelligent matching algorithms and gives access to a wider range of partners and routes. Empty container trips are avoided and a company’s CO2 footprint is reduced in the process. As the platform is neutral and does not operate as a broker, direct contact can be made with users and suppliers. More than 180 companies in over 2,500 places use the platform presently and over 230,000 container units have been offered and requested so far.

Huge savings potential

Studies by xChange have shown that repositioning empty containers costs the industry USD 15 to 20 billion annually of which USD 5 to 10 billion are due to avoidable, company-specific imbalances. The savings per container depend on the route and the company. An analysis of xChange transactions using data by the BCG Shipping Benchmarking Initiative 2016 cost database showed that on average, every exchange on xChange saved both parties USD 200 per unit in harbour costs alone.

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