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How to boost market introduction of foldable containers? The unexpected role of container lease industry

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  • Konings, Rob

Abstract

Transport of empty containers, which arises from the need to reposition containers, is an expensive business. This holds in particular for shipping lines, who are usually responsible for container repositioning and have to bear these container management costs. Shipping lines are known to follow various strategies to reduce these costs of empty transport as much as they can. A rather unfamiliar, but interesting option to save costs is the possibility to fold empty containers. This could save transport costs, but also transhipment and storage costs. Using foldable containers could therefore be commercially attractive, provided that foldable containers can fulfil the technical and logistical conditions demanded by the users. Despite their potential benefits however, there seems to be a reluctance to use these containers. In this paper we analyse this reluctance and we discuss the important role container lessors could play in initiating the use of foldable containers. The special relationship between shipping lines and container lessors appears to be of particular importance and is a key to pave the way for using foldable containers.

Suggested Citation

  • Konings, Rob, 2004. "How to boost market introduction of foldable containers? The unexpected role of container lease industry," European Transport \ Trasporti Europei, ISTIEE, Institute for the Study of Transport within the European Economic Integration, issue 25-26, pages 81-88.
  • Handle: RePEc:sot:journl:y:2004:i:25-26:p:81-88
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10077/5785
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