Success Story: VS&B Containers Group

How digitizing their one-way business saves VS&B Containers valuable time

Archana Jayakrishnan

Archana Jayakrishnan is responsible for international leasing, CS Leasing Agency and one-way container moves at VS&B Containers Group, a company with a 24-year-old history. In her role with one-way containers, Archana mainly serves her internal customers, the container traders at VS&B, and makes sure they have enough equipment at the right place.

VS&B operates in domestic leasing (within India) and international containers leasing as well as used and new container sales from their headquarter in Chennai, India and their 11 offices from Germany to Indonesia.

Archana has more than 30 colleagues who speak 15 languages in total and serve rail operators, NVOCCs, forwarders, shipping lines and storage providers in need of equipment. With a regional focus on the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia, VS&B differentiates from their competition through being accessible 16 hours a day, 6 days a week, across 5 time zones , experience in the business, integrity and proactive service.

The management at VS&B with vast experience in the various fields of container leasing, sales and working with depots,terminals is one of the main reasons why Archana joined them five years ago. In her daily business, her main challenges are idle boxes in the wrong place and not sufficient liquidity in the right place.

Why xChange? 

  • It helps VS&B Containers reposition equipment for better utilization and better prizes

  • Saves hours per week on finding and vetting partners

  • VS&B Containers finds partners globally to expand business

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Organizing one-way moves was time consuming

“Back in the days, we had no other choice than going with our contacts when organizing one-way moves”, Archana said. But this was her biggest pain point: If you expand to different locations you need a partner who is already there. Otherwise, you’re stuck with the network you already have or you can’t make the deal.

“Doing all the research, vetting people through references and checking their LinkedIn profiles to make sure you can trust them with your assets takes a lot of time”, Archana added. But time is money and we don’t want to let our customers wait!

Problems VS&B Containers had in the past include, for instance, partners not picking up the units on time which resulted in paying tremendous storage charges. But more importantly “if my containers don’t arrive on time, I don’t get the price I was initially expecting I would get”, Archana mentioned.

So time is money for her, a few days are still manageable but as soon as containers arrive too late, VS&B Containers either lose the business or their profit margin. “How our partners handle our boxes is most important for us!”, Archana said, “the DPP covers minor damages but going through the hassle of repairing units is annoying and time-consuming!”.

So when a delegation of VS&B Containers met Container xChange, the online platform for container logistics, for the first time at the Intermodal in Rotterdam, it seemed like they finally found a solution for their one-way business.

Digitizing their one-way container business

“Payment handling and the built-in container insurance was most important when we evaluated Container xChange before joining”, Archana said. And because it is no rocket-science, she enjoyed working on the neutral online platform from day 1. “xChange makes my job easy, now I can meet demand in the most cost-efficient way and make it possible for our traders to buy and sell at the right price!”, Archana proceeded.

Using the smart search, she can now just type in pickup and drop-off location to find repo partners to facilitate container movement. “I love to look at potential partners’ company profiles”, Archana mentioned, “reading their ratings & reviews and seeing how they perform on the platform makes it easy to choose the right partner”.

Especially the fact that Container xChange is not just another online platform but a people’s business is what fascinates her. “I can trust their vetting process when leasing out units to new partners through the platform and the proactive team behind the scenes is always there to resolve disputes and make sure deals happen at a timely manner,” Archana said.

“It saves me hours of work each week that I would otherwise spend on finding and vetting new partners”

Archana Jayakrishnan, VS&B Containers

Strengthening core business and expanding to new markets

We use xChange to separate ourselves from the competition through speed as the platform allows us to react to market trends on time. At VS&B Containers they use xChange in existing markets in case she has no equipment available but also for expanding to other markets. “Container xChange plays a very important role in our expansion strategy, the fact that the platform has supply & demand in more than 2500 locations and the transparency it provides is one of our biggest advantages,” Archana said.

We sell more than 10,000 containers per year and we’re moving more and more business to xChange because it helps us position equipment for better utilization at better prices. “xChange gets my work done, I can now work with partners I didn’t even know!”, Archana mentioned. “It saves me hours of work each week that I would otherwise spend on finding and vetting new partners!” Archana added, “now I just login to xChange and have the entire one-way market only one click away”.

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