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

 This post will provide insights to the world’s largest shipping company, Maersk’s, largest container ship named Maersk McKinney Moller, after the founding CEO.

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 

xChange offers dry containers and many other container dimensions to choose

– APS uses our smart search to find potential suppliers in more than 2500 locations (more information on how to find SOC container). Instead of company-by-company checking, a user just needs to fill in their preferred pick-up and drop-off location, choose their type and amount of equipment to receive “matches” – companies which want to supply containers on that specific stretch

– APS compares a wide range of containers afterwards within seconds and sends out a short request to the company which offers the best conditions

– APS then quickly adds their transaction terms to the request such as the number of free days and starts a short online negotiation via chat to finalize the details

– There is no need to organize bilateral payments, xChange does the payment handling for APS (and saves everyone high international banking fees!)

– Sometimes APS even gets paid for using containers on xChange when they move them from a location with low demand to a location where other companies are desperately searching for containers

Organizing one-ways/SOC container does now take only a few minutes instead of weeks prior to working with Container xChange.

Bottom line: xChange makes it easy to find and use 3rd party containers  

xChange makes it easy to organize 3rd party containers be used as SOC containers on one-way basis and give instant options. Instead of a time-consuming and expensive process with many different tools xChange narrows the process down to one place.

Moreover, xChange also enables APS to provide their own containers to other members in order to optimize their own fleet’s positioning. By using xChange, APS becomes a reliable partner to its customers and is able to react to market needs within a short period of time. Kashif Baig, Business Development Manager of APS perfectly summarizes it:

“We use Third Party containers through XChange, which gives us instant and reliable options”