Maersk uses Avantida platform for empty box management with street turn

AVANTIDA says Maersk Line will launch street turn, or container triangulation services, through its computer platform in the US and Canada

20 January 2019 - 19:00

AVANTIDA says Maersk Line will launch street turn, or container triangulation services, through its computer platform in the US and Canada. The company is owned by E2Open, which acquired the shipping portal INTTRA last year.

Chief executive officer Luc De Clerck said the solution provides many benefits for stakeholders in the supply chain. 'We believe what we have implemented in Europe and will also be very effective in North America,' he said.

When a request is made to perform a street turn, 'you get an immediate response, an automated response from the back-end system of the ocean line, including all the business rules, and you are also 100 per cent sure that you can execute the street turn and not be at risk for fines and discussions afterwards on who is responsible for a box during a certain time,' explained Mr De Clerck.

He noted that a number of companies offer street turn services, including MatchBack Systems Inc in the US and Box Reload in Europe, reported American Shipper.

'These operate mainly to find matches between transport companies, whilst we are the interface to the ocean lines,' he said.

'They try to find street turns in the community between transport companies or logistic service providers and when a match is found someone has to request approval from the ocean line where that can happen, and we are (the) platform that handles these requests to seek approval from the ocean line.'

There is growing interest in street turn or matchbacks, which Matchback Systems says are created when an import container is paired with an export booking without going back to a port or container yard.

They can lower drayage costs, result in improved utilisation of drivers and equipment and reduce emissions and port congestion, said MatchBack Systems president Todd Ericksrud, a Wisconsin-based logistics software company that focuses on the repositioning of empty marine containers.

'There is a black hole, a lack of transparency in the industry that is costing US$20 billion globally for empty repositioning,' he said. 'But 45 per cent of all exports have significant distance that can be eliminated through street turns and matchbacks.'

The company said each matchback eliminates $150 to $400 of direct cost, an additional $200 of indirect cost and 400 pounds of harmful CO2.

Mr Erickrud said Matchback Systems receives 30,000 records or requests from importers or exporters looking for a matchback of a container and has 700,000 potential pairs and combinations for matchbacks that it goes through each day. On a daily basis it is able to create 500 to 900 matchbacks.

'We work to find the optimal solution that is going to solve the problem,' with assistance artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, he said.

Antwerp-based Avantida has been in business for five years. It began in Belgium and nowadays offers services in ten European countries and last year expanded into Mexico. Overall, the platform counts on 4,000 registered companies and facilitates an average of 2,000 transactions daily.

Earlier this month, MarchBack announced a technology partnership with Trinium Technologies, a provider of enterprise software to the intermodal trucking and container drayage industries.

Last week the Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTC) expressed concern about the fees some carriers are planning to impose on street turns of equipment next month.

In a statement, AgTC said: 'Fees imposed on street turns must be one of the least constructive, poorly considered steps conceivable.

'It injures all, including the carriers themselves, by adding to congestion and delay which already makes marine terminals at some of our largest ports, the greatest challenge to the US export/import supply chain. Penalising street turns threaten one of the only measures available to shippers, carriers, terminals, truckers to address the unending congestion.'

However, Mr De Clerck noted charging fees for street turns is a common approach in Europe.

'All major ocean lines charge for street turning boxes,' he said. 'It's a common practice that for this flexibility and advantages we give to the users of the box - be it transport companies or other users, there is a fee charged.'

He said the fees are defined by individual lines but he said fees announced by Hyundai and ZIM of $50 and $40, respectively, are similar to what is charged in Europe.


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