The Dutch shipping industry causes more CO2 emissions than all of the cars in the country combined. One container ship emits about the same amount of CO2 a year as 28,000 cars. However, not all ships are the same, which is where HelloContainer comes into play. HelloContainer is an online booking system that shows the CO2 emissions per container, so the entrepreneurs are able to map out their own carbon footprints.
Jos, Kees, and Ron
In 2017 Jos de Jonge and Kees Koopman joined forces. Jos worked in the container sector, and Kees had run an online platform for shipping documents, packages, and pallets for 10 years. In 2018, ICT expert and entrepreneur Ron de Wit joined, completing the team as it is today. The goal is to develop a platform that will be the new standard for the market and contribute to a cleaner world. The platform will be HelloContainer, which Jos, Kees, and Ron, among others, will realize in collaboration with the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate.
HelloContainer has been developing the platform further for the past three years. Together with parties from the fresh produce sector, they started in this branch because, as they put it, it is one of the more difficult branches to operate in. “We have to work with food items, plants, and other similar products in the fresh produce sector, which sets high standards for transport. For instance, the use of refrigerated containers (reefers), keeping the inspection authorities in mind, and transporting as fast as possible are all of great importance. The platform turns out to be particularly suited for that task.”
The entire process captured on one platform
A cleaner world is the starting point, but the platform has many other secrets to it. “Every year, trouble arises with about 3 to 5 percent of the booked containers. In many cases, this is due to human error as a result of, for instance, the complex process of booking containers. With the built-in checks, the platform reduces this number to 0.2%. Through Rotterdam and Antwerp alone, roughly 8 million export containers are shipped. The potential is enormous.”
“There is a direct connection to customs, and creating an export declaration only takes three minutes (instead of the minimal 30 minutes and sometimes even the entire day it takes to do the same thing via the traditional ways). By using machine learning (in collaboration with the HZ, University of Applied Sciences), expected future prices are shown so people can always make the right choices. In short, all of the steps necessary to book the best possible container for your needs are combined on one online platform.”
HelloContainer is convinced the CO2 emission of container transport overseas can be drastically reduced by creating more transparency and facilitating cleaner transport options. “We completely organized this for the fresh produce sector, and those innovations have not gone unnoticed. For instance, the Zeeland Participation Fund (ZPF) joined in to financially support further growth, and we were recently nominated for the Zeeland Innovation Prize Emergo 2020. We’re ambitious to expand into other sectors besides Fresh produce in the future so they can also profit from the possibilities HelloContainer has to offer.”
image credit: HelloContainer
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