More than 20 million containers are moved across the world every day and 20% of them are returned empty by sea. Dutch container company K-tainer has introduced a sustainable alternative solution to helps avoid unnecessary costs and carbon emissions: one-way containers.
K-tainer Trading and K-tainer Leasing offer new and used containers at an attractive price. However, director of K-tainer, Walter Ferreira said:
“But not if we have to send them back empty. In that event, the container loses its cost advantage the moment it leaves port. And that’s leaving aside the environmental aspects,”
K-tainer has come up with an arrangement that reduces carbon emissions and completely refunds these savings to the user transporting the container, because there is a third party in K-tainer’s concept, between the buyer and the seller: the carrier. Container shipping lines, exporters and road haulage firms have up to 30 days to use the containers free of charge, and can leave them with the buyer after unloading.
Various clients are already taking extensive advantage of this option. The main draw for users is that the ‘carbon savings refund’ enables them to increase the sustainability of their logistics service. Moreover, by taking this offer, companies can turn this into financial savings in the long run as the private sector is required to pay per tonne of carbon emissions in the near future. The one-way containers are complementary to carriers’ own equipment – specifically that share of their containers that won’t be filled with return cargo. Customers can also use the carbon emissions saved through this solution to substantially reduce its carbon footprint.
“Imagine a shipping company sends ten containers per week to Ireland, but only has enough freight to fill six containers on the return voyage. In this situation, the shipping company can benefit from henceforth using four of our one-way containers on its Ireland route, and leaving them there,” explains Ferreira.
With this concept, K-tainer has been awarded with a Lean & Green star, an international award recognising logistics companies that have explored every angle to reduce the sector’s carbon emissions.
“We have a new fleet of containers built in China, but of course, we don’t ship those empty either: we get a party to fill them with cargo. At least, that will again be our approach once the container market has recovered from its current situation.”