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Startup Profile: Boxxport

Boxxport’s online marketplace could well be poised to change the way shipping containers are traded around the world. Brian Dixon reports.

Headquartered in the German port city of Hamburg, Boxxport’s goal, says founder and CEO Jan Frahnert, is “to bring the benefits of digitalisation to the container industry by creating an all-in-one marketplace to buy, sell, lease and auction shipping containers”. Moreover, with users able to benefit from instant quotations, the company’s eponymous cloud-based platform, he asserts, is not only transforming the industry, but also “bringing it up to an Industry-4.0 standard”.

“With Boxxport, you get real-time information, which guarantees full market transparency, trading in just a couple of clicks,” he states. Indeed, one of the key benefits of this is that the company’s clients “are always informed about stock availability and prices worldwide”.

Furthermore, in addition to enhancing the ease and speed of doing business, the platform also enables users to expand their geographical reach by granting them access to worldwide trading opportunities beyond the scope of traditional telephone- and paper-based systems. As such, the company’s clients are not only able to manage their entire container fleets online, but also “instantly upgrade from [being] local traders to global players in seconds”.

And it would appear that since the platform went live this past July, the various benefits it offers has seen it gaining significant ground with container traders and users alike, regardless of whether they represent shipping lines, freight forwarders or shippers drawn from a broad range of industries. “For now, we are the world’s largest shipping container marketplace with users all over the world,” Frahnert says. “On a daily basis, we close transactions globally and onboard new clients from all continents.”

Given the rate of technological advancement sweeping the globe, such a rapid development should not perhaps be seen as that surprising. “In a digital economy, change and disruption are now a constant and online platforms are gaining a bigger and stronger consumer base,” Frahnert observes, adding that companies “need to adjust and develop new solutions to keep up with this fast-paced environment”.

“This will only increase as more innovations come on to the market and, as millennials enter the labour force, adaptation and early adoption will be easier and faster. Therefore, the price for not adapting to this new digital era could be steep, with unforeseeable implications for those left behind. The question is no longer if you should go digital but rather how to do so,” he continues.

A pioneering firm that took “the plunge into a full digital ecosystem for the trading of containers on a global scale”, Boxxport he asserts, remains unique on the market. “We [are helping] this industry to go digital,” he says. What’s more, the company, he reveals, is currently gearing up to further enhance its offering at the start of June with the addition of a new negotiation management tool. “This is another feature that helps us to continue disrupting the container industry. By constantly innovating, we solidify our position as the digital leader of the industry,” Frahnert states.

More information on the company and its platform can be found at the Boxxport website here: https://www.boxxport.com

About Author

Brian Dixon is a business and industry journalist with more than 20 years' experience writing about ports and logistics. A member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists, he has covered stories on six continents. He divides his time between the UK and East Asia

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