Almar Container Group (“Almar” in the following) is a trading and leasing company from South Africa, founded in 1988 by Alistair Forbes. Its product range includes dry freight & storage containers, refrigerated containers and container gensets amongst other types of special equipment. Almar operates eight offices in Africa, Saudi Arabia and Dubai, “The Quarterdeck”, how Almar’s head office is called, is located in Durban, South Africa.
The challenge: Supply containers to EVERY location in a short time-span
On core stretches and key business areas, Almar has established strong relationships and is able to deliver containers within a short time-span. However, moving containers into locations out of the core scope is sometimes a major challenge.
The problem: As a small company Almar has to rely on smaller partners to help move containers around the world into some hard to reach locations, some locations which are not that attractive to any major operators. New clients oftentimes require fast delivery into challenging locations though —and if Almar is not able to deliver, not only this deal falls through but the chance to a long-lasting relationship is wasted.
How did Almar move containers before joining Container xChange?
– Almar reaches out to an existing network of friends and business partners all over the world once a new request is received. Maybe they might be able to help out!
– 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 Almar has found a reliable partner, they need to set up a legal contract and negotiate one-way terms
– Done deal! The partner seems trustworthy and legal terms fit – good job. Next part is documentation of the process: Almar uses a tracking tool to always know where their containers are—and to deliver ETAs (“estimated time of arrival”) to the end customer.
– Besides that, Almar needs to write, proof and follow up on bilateral invoices—not to speak of costly international bank transfers!
You get the idea! Organizing one-ways can be a time-consuming process, involving different parties across the globe, several different emails, calls and expensive tools.
How Almar now saves several weeks with Container xChange
At xChange, we think there should be a smarter way to supply and organize one-way containers for companies such as Almar. That’s why many traders and leasing companies use Container xChange to supply containers for one-way use:
– Almar uses our smart search to find potential partners in more than 2500 locations. 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 use containers on that specific stretch
– Every member of xChange goes through a continuous vetting process to make sure Almar only gets trustworthy and reliable search results
– Almar 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
– Once the deal is done xChange automatically creates a release document, provides surveying services and gives an overview on tracking for every single container including estimated arrival dates and tracking alerts
– There is no need to write invoices or organize bilateral payments, xChange does the payment handling for Almar (and saves everyone high international banking fees!)
Bottom line: xChange makes it easy to organize one-way container moves
xChange makes it easy to organize one-way container moves. Instead of a time-consuming and expensive process with many different tools xChange narrows the process down to one place.
By using xChange, Almar becomes a reliable partner to its customers and is able to react to market needs within a short period of time. Chris Husted (E-Mail), Managing Director of Almar, perfectly summarizes it:
“xChange has been helpful is identifying partners we can work with to help move our containers into our desired locations, and because xChange has a number of partners we can negotiate attractive terms, and often new route ideas and options.”