Rotterdam, the Netherlands-based TankContainerFinder.com was officially launched to match supply and demand for containerized transport of liquids, gasses, food, and feed worldwide. Cargo and tank containers are matched via a user-friendly online platform that offers a higher level of efficiency, substantial cost savings, and more sustainability.

Finding a tank container is no easy task. Despite the fact that, according to the International Tank Container Organisation, there are around 458,200 units in circulation, not every tank container is suitable for every cargo. There are also many different types, all designated with a unique T number, suitable for specific cargoes of chemicals, gases, oils, and other liquid and solid bulk products.

“On average, between 50,000 and 80.000 units lie idle,” says co-founder Léon de Bruin. “This is not only because of the many different types, but also because there has to be one available in your vicinity.”

Thanks to industry contacts developed by de Bruin and partner Jeroen Koppenaal’s they have begun developing an online a marketplace for tank containers.

“We heard of a shipper in Houston TX that had telephoned a lessor in Rotterdam to have a specific type of tank container sent over to transport chicken fat. That lessor rang around its network and found the required tank container 700 meters from the shipper’s location in Houston. We then realized that a world of opportunity using an intelligent logistics matchmaker awaited us.”

All relevant data is entered and a match is found via a simple menu on the website. The first deals have already been concluded during the beta phase and the number of parties participating from all over the world is also growing rapidly. De Bruin said: “That has exceeded our expectations. There is great interest; also among the major players.”

De Bruin believes that once the web startup lifts off, it should have a positive impact on the sector. “There is a lot of secrecy about who has what quantities available,” he says. “The market is vastly fragmented worldwide with 3,000 suppliers of tank containers and more than 10,000 companies on the demand side. Via www.TankContainerFinder.com participants get into contact with each other in a clever and discrete way. That is only a good thing for all parties concerned. The entire sector ultimately stands to benefit from that efficiency gain, not to mention the importance of the sustainable impact factor.”