Perhaps it would be better if the shipping industry continued to use the traditional container and accepted the fees and charges associated with moving and storing these bulky items. However, as trade expands, fees and duties increase and become more expensive.
Consider swapping empty containers. It is a costly venture in which the global process requires millions of trips on ships, trucks and railways that generate no revenue.
The situation is similar with airlines.
Any passenger making a flight from point A to point B with several passengers on board is able to conclude, by performing simple mathematics, that not a single flight with several paid passengers on it can cover the operating costs of the airline. Nevertheless, the plane continues to fly from point A to point B, without earning money. On an individual flight, this may be acceptable, but in the long run it is simply not possible.
The same is true of shipping lines, but it is even more expensive because airlines do not need to manage empty seats as an asset. On the other hand, boxes, full or empty, must be administered, processed and moved. Therefore, if they are empty, they do not make a profit, only additional expenses.
According to analysts of JSC Russian Container Company, the net cost of moving containers for 2010 was about $ 7 billion a year.
Shipping volumes have increased significantly since that time, and now the cost reaches $ 20 billion – all thanks to a boom in empty containers.
“Yes, the volume of maritime traffic in recent years has increased due to growing demand, but for many trade routes there is an imbalance in demand. For example, in Los Angeles, USA, where freight transportation technologies are considered advanced, and the turnover is high, from 2010 to 2017 the volume of empty containers increased by 34%, and the number of loaded TEUs increased by only 12%. Over the same period, empty containers in Long Beach grew by 40%, container volumes grew by only 13%, ”said I.A. Grishagin, General Director of JSC “RCC”.
Shipowners distribute their containers in such a way as to primarily maximize their income, but not necessarily at the same time solving the economic tasks and opportunities of their clients. Thus, because of the trade imbalance and higher container rates that they impose on an inbound trip along the Pacific Ocean pendulum routes, shipowners often prefer to move their containers back to Asian export markets rather than waiting for the export load to be available.
“For example, while container loading may take 3 to 4 weeks in the interior of a country, say, North America, and return to a port with an income of about $ 800, the same time can be set aside to move a container through Silent ocean to get a return of $ 3,000. ”, – says I. Grishagin.
The expert community is trying to solve this problem using various methods. Blockchain, other various logistic solutions, as well as thinking about the transformation of the container itself. Let us analyze the concept of a folding container.
It sounds great and makes a lot of sense, but by its very nature folding containers are harder to produce than traditional containers and require more steel.
As such, they are more expensive to purchase in advance. In addition, operating costs, such as equipment and labor required for folding containers, at first glance repel.
“Initial costs may be higher, but economies of scale for folding containers are even higher. If the cost of making new containers is cheaper than rearranging them, then accumulation may occur.
The trend line of the cost of a collapsible container is such that the reduction in the cost of producing collapsible containers is rapidly developing. However, like all technologies, it must be considered as a process. For example, when cars were first introduced, they were expensive and inaccessible to the average person. Then Henry Ford, the head of the auto-concern of the same name, was the first to start the assembly line, and cars began to be produced cheaper.
Monitoring the cost of using collapsible containers shows that savings of $ 420 are possible by combining 5 empty folding containers into a unit with a size of 1 standard container for port-to-port transportation scenarios, including warehousing, packaging of empty containers, logistics in warehouses in ports.
In a door-to-door situation, folding containers are folded by the client until a sufficient number of empty containers is available for group transportation to the port. More
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