K-tainer joins RPPC: Revolutionary sustainability in the port by reducing empty container transport
Published on 27 June 2023
In the Port of Rotterdam, approximately one in five handled containers is empty. Empty containers are both unloaded and loaded onto departing ships. The underlying cause is that the right container is not always in the right place at the right time. K-tainer has developed an innovative and sustainable solution for this.
The company, which currently employs nine people, started around the turn of the century with the rental and sale of containers. "Our founder, Kees Kamerling, was asked to enter the Dutch market for several German companies," explains Ronald Vrijenhoef, Business Development at K-tainer . "And in essence, that is still the core activity, but more extensive. And with a new service and vision."
About six years ago, K-tainer developed the 'One Way Concept' for which the company even received a 'Lean & Green' star. Vrijenhoef says, "That makes us unique and aligns with the sustainability goals we all pursue in the port at the moment. With this service, customers can actually reduce their CO2 emissions and shrink their carbon footprint."
Many empty containers
The idea for this concept arose because the K-tainer team became aware of the large number of transport flows involving empty containers. "We offer customers the opportunity to take our containers with them for free." If the customer does not have a specific size or type of container or needs to transport it to an unusual destination, K-tainer provides a container. "The customer then leaves that container at the destination."
This involves containers that would have had to make the journey empty otherwise. "In this way, we expand our customer base. We are able to sell containers far beyond Rotterdam."
When companies take K-tainer 's units to destinations in countries such as Portugal, Italy, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, or the Baltic States, where there is high demand for containers, the container does not have to travel empty, and the transport costs are eliminated. "The concept is not only beneficial for both parties but also saves CO2 emissions."
At the launch of the concept, the market had to get used to it. "In the end, their logo is not on the container, which initially proved to be a hurdle." But now that the CO2 footprint also comes at a cost, we see that this reduction in emissions can be easily achieved. "Because we pass on that CO2 reduction to the customer." In addition to lower emissions, a concept like 'K-tainer One Way Container' also creates more space at the terminals and depots in the ports.
K-tainer itself is still evolving as a company. "We are undergoing a digital transition, including a new website and webshop that will go live soon." Additionally, the company is looking for personnel who align with K-tainer 's philosophy.
K-tainer chooses to become an RPPC member because of the organization's network. "We want to share our sustainable story, but it is not always clear who we should approach within companies for that purpose. We hope to reach and get to know many people." On the other hand, the K-tainer team also hopes to be inspired by others in the network.
Sustainability is not complicated
We always ask new members to provide a tip or advice to fellow members. Vrijenhoef says, "My tip would be for people to realize that sustainability does not have to be complicated at all. There are opportunities in every organization to take steps. It helps if you dare to think out-of-the-box."