More efficient container transport with Avantida

Photo: Microsoft Pulse

Efficient and cost-effective, something all the outward and return journeys with empty containers definitely are not. This prompted Avantida to launch a tool that helps carriers and shipping companies make their processes more efficient and cost effective. Starting with the Port of Antwerp. And expanding to all neighbouring countries and further afield, not even four years later. Avantida’s Luc De Clerck explains the concept in detail and why the port was a good testing ground.  

IT solutions for empty containers

Avantida is an Antwerp based software company that devises IT solutions for logistics players. Its focus? “Avoid carrying empty containers by working more efficiently,” says Luc De Clerck of Avantida. “We therefore created an Internet platform connecting all the major shipping companies and more than 3,000 logistics companies from seven countries. Through the platform, carriers, for example, can reuse a container or request another drop-off location to avoid making unnecessary trips. And it’s also a win for shipping companies since a container in use is more profitable than one that is stationary or empty.”

Cost-effective and efficient work

“Of course, the flexibility of a container comes with a price tag. And profit margins in logistics are already under pressure. Carriers will therefore only seek the reuse solution if it works out to be more efficient and especially more profitable. This explains why access to the platform is also free. The shipping company pays a fee only if and when it approves a request. And that seems to happen a lot, since every year Avantida saves more than 150,000 unnecessary trips. This is irrefutable proof that efficiency and cost savings go hand in hand, something that the Port of Antwerp has been trying to promote for quite a while.”

Antwerp welcomes innovation

“Our software can take any container port to a higher level in terms of efficiency. Yet, Antwerp was the perfect port to test out our concept. There are many logistics players here and the very busy port is eager to make efficiency a priority. In addition, this is a port that welcomes innovation. Here, we were given the opportunity to demonstrate our idea on a relatively small scale and turn it into an international product shortly after.”

With countless high-tech projects coming to the fore in Antwerp, it is obvious that also the city’s port benefits from the race towards next-gen innovations. Seafar is a shipping management company that learned the ropes in the innovation hub The Beacon, thanks to the city’s support. Now, the company will present its cutting-edge Shore Control Center that will determine the port of Antwerp’s future.
Innovate Antwerp, published by The Global Village, is part of a publication series on worldwide innovative ecosystems. Antwerp is the first region in the European Union that is featured in the series. In the book, readers discover a wide range of initiatives, companies and people that focus on innovation.
The renowned global innovation platform Plug and Play anchors in Antwerp, to team up with 5 partners: the City of Antwerp, CMB, DXC Technology, Euronav, and Port of Antwerp. Together, they introduce Plug and Play Maritime. This program connects the 5 Founding Partners to international startups. The purpose is to pilot their technologies and continue as world-class leaders in maritime R&D and innovation.