INTTRA acquires container repositioning platform
The ocean shipping electronic marketplace has paid an undisclosed sum for Avantida, a cloud-based provider of solutions, to better manage empty containers.
Neutral ocean freight marketplace INTTRA said Tuesday it has acquired Avantida, a European provider of empty container management solutions, for an undisclosed sum.
Avantida currently provides a cloud-based platform in seven European countries for parties to request empty container equipment availability from carriers. The platform also facilitates the billing, invoicing, and settlement of the transactions.
INTTRA CEO John Fay said in an interview with American Shipper that INTTRA was interested in the acquisition due to customer demand for reach into inland services. INTTRA customers typically use the marketplace for ocean freight booking, conveyance of shipping instructions, and container weight data submission. The company is also a major supplier of shipment status data to third parties.
Fay said acquiring Avantida will allow the European company to spread its reach via the INTTRA network. He said the company has been growing quickly based on its ability to provide value to all parties, from the carriers seeking to ease their empty repositioning cost burden, to trucking companies and shippers trying to get better and less expensive assets to equipment.
Avantida has two primary solutions - one in which companies request or reuse equipment, and another in which users of containers can arrange a drop off at a depot more convenient than drayage back to a port terminal.
“The first opportunity is to roll this out to other markets and tap into INTTRA customer base,” Fay said.
That geographic rollout at first means an expansion within Europe, to North America is the third quarter of 2017, and to Asia in 2018.
Longer term, he said, the goal is to integrate INTTRA’s data into the Avantida solution to provide predictive analytics about positioning through container status events.
The company appealed to INTTRA because of the chance to help remedy the hidden inefficiencies inherent in repositioning. The Boston Consulting Group, according to its studies on the issue, found that repositioning cost the liner shipping industry up to $20 billion a year.
Maersk Line, at its most recent Capital Markets Day, said repositioning cost the Danish line alone $1.2 billion.
“There are multiple parties trying to address this problem,” he said. “We believe Avantida is the furthest along and provides very clear value to every party in the supply chain. They can measure the exact dollar or euro value of what was saved.”
Fay also noted that he sees parties in the ocean freight industry increasingly seeking out technologies that address specific problems over larger operating systems that haven’t allowed users to fully understand equipment repositioning strategies and costs.
“Together, we can leverage technology innovation to digitize and transform a multi-billion dollar market that is central to global trade,” Avantida CEO Luc De Clerck said. “INTTRA’s global network will enable us to accelerate product adoption in Europe and around the world.”
Both Fay and De Clerck also emphasized the role Avantida’s solutions can play in reducing carbon emissions and helping companies comply with CO2 reduction initiatives and regulations.
Avantida will operate as a separate division under INTTRA, with the brand name retained.
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