David Amézquita

Product Manager at Container xChange

Container xChange is one of the top ten global logistics tech companies as well as the world’s fastest-growing neutral marketplace for container leasing and trading.

More than 800 companies such as Kuehne+Nagel, Seaco, Transinsular, Deniz, VS&B Container Group, Sogese, Ocean Box, ACB Group, O.V. Lahtinen, VMR Lines, and Sarjak use xChange to gain market transparency, avoid demurrage, detention charges and enhance operational efficiency and flexibility.

At the beginning, the platform was only to lease containers. Container suppliers who wanted to reposition their containers to different locations would meet or be introduced to container users through the xChange platform, who were traveling in the same direction and wanted to lease their containers to move their products.

Now we also have a trading marketplace where customers can buy and sell containers. And apart from that, we have different products supporting these two main marketplaces, such as offering insurance, surveyors, and tracking the containers for our customers.

What’s really different about our product is the neutrality and the transparency the customers receive when they join our platform, as xChange doesn’t hold any assets or containers within the marketplace. Basically, they go to our platform, it’s pretty much the same as Airbnb, where we only really want to support both sides.

Our customers – leasing, traders, shipping lines, and Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carrier companies – need to know where their containers are and to be informed if there are any delays, and they benefit from having the data updated as much as possible.

We use public web data to identify all the points of interaction for our client’s containers, what they’re being used for, where they’ve been, where they’re going, and where they will eventually end up. 

The second part is the container availability index, a product where customers can find the balance of containers in a specific location. In China, there is typically a steady flow of containers going in and out of Shanghai. While in the US, however, there is currently a surplus of containers coming in, but not too many containers coming out of the country.

The insights pulled from the web data can also help our customers decide which products are most beneficial to ship at the moment, what prices to pay for the containers or shipping costs and of course be able to trace the delivery of their goods or containers from point A to B. 

The shipping industry has also been incorporating technological innovations to automate or consolidate many of the operational tasks our customers encounter on a daily basis, such as electronic Bills of Lading, invoices, tracking, scheduling, etc. – creating new web data points that present real-time visibility and the ability to strengthen our customer’s margins.

That’s how we monitor the ‘container availability index.’ And our insights are based on the web data surrounding container moves that we have collected over the last few years. That also allows us to predict within the next weeks, how the supply chain might appear and how it will behave in specific locations.

Automating our web data collection with Bright Data has allowed us to be more successful, as we have time to focus on gathering more data sources, pulling valuable insights from them to serve our customers, and developing further knowledge around the industry in addition to logical ways to ship better and smarter.

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