Container positioning

Carsten Jans, company founder, had originally set his aims at applying his thirty years of experience in ship-owning companies, shipping agents and NVOCC operators in Hamburg and Bremen to reducing empty sea container transport costs that occur in maritime shipping.
MAGELLAN began a customer-specific service, which is still unique in the world, using an innovative system that combines container logistics and shipping insurance.
This service is known as …”Container positioning”.

Container positioning is the term those in shipping use for “one-way” leasing or cabotage. MAGELLAN saw its purpose in providing a cost-effective and usually very attractive solution to the issues that face national and international shipping companies, road haulage companies, container leasing companies, container manufacturers, and trading companies—“regulation of container shortage and excess by positioning”. This can be summed up as avoidance of empty transport costs.


The problem

The problem facing container traffic is that, on average, around 46 million TEU per year in empty containers are handled in the world’s sea ports. Experts have estimated that no less than 25% of all sea shipping involves the redistribution of empty containers. The costs incurred amount to around USD 12 Billion per annum, which is mainly carried by the shipping companies. They solve this problem by making “box sharing” arrangements, which enable member companies to exchange containers among themselves based on a general agreement.

However, in attempting to cut empty container transport costs, box-sharing arrangements involve the inherent problem that those regions with the container excess and shortfall affect all shipping companies, and the lack of supply and demand volume prevents the formation of any user associations in the first place.
Locations where several shipping companies profit from box-sharing schemes in any major way are more the exception than the rule.
This is not a favourite topic of conversation for shipping companies, but it still exists—empty transport costs!

So there’s no solution?

Yes there is!

As a service provider and neutral third party, MAGELLAN manages container positioning. Customers with more containers than they can use report to us the number of containers that they have at their disposal at the transhipment points concerned.
MAGELLAN then searches for appropriate customers with a potential need for containers at the same location. We respect the interests of our customers on both sides of the deal as far as possible. Usually, both parties will remain anonymous—both the party offering the containers and the party looking for containers. Any container damage will be settled immediately by MAGELLAN after the damaged containers have been returned.

We have assessors in over 70 countries worldwide to ensure that the system works.