APS Container Lines (“APS” in the following”) was established as a Non-Vessel Operating Common Career (NVOCC) in 2009, headquartered in Hong Kong, China. APS now operates a fleet of more than 3100 TEU dry containers and special equipment with main focus on Africa, China, Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East.
With an ever-changing world of shipping and logistics requirements, APS aims to provide transportation, logistics, trading and consulting services to its clients.
The challenge: Offering flexible and competitive freight solutions – and optimizing your own container fleet
APS’ core focus is on using their own fleet to provide cost-effective freight solutions. However, two main situations create challenges: (1) How to provide capacity to clients when own equipment is not available and (b) How to optimize positioning of its fleet (surplus and deficiency / inventory management). To optimally satisfy clients’ demands, APS needs more flexibility in their freight booking and searches for 3rd party containers that can be used as owned fleet.
Increasing the number of one-ways/SOCs is time-consuming for APS
– APS usually reaches out to their existing network of business partners all over the world once they want to use containers in specific locations out of their scope
– The process of finding new partners, reaching out to the right contact person and conducting background-checks is time-consuming and oftentimes takes several weeks (which might be too long for a customer having an urgent request)
– And even after APS has found a reliable partner, they need to set up a legal contract and negotiate terms for SOC use
– To be on the safe side APS sometimes pays a local surveyor to inspect the containers and asks their insurance company to insure their containers
– Besides that, APS needs to write, proof and follow up on bilateral invoices—not to speak of costly international bank transfers!
In short organizing one-ways/SOC containers can be a time-consuming process, involving different parties across the globe, a low level of trust and several different emails, calls and expensive tools
APS now finds available containers within seconds