Improving container fleet management

In the competitive and low-margin business of container shipping the efficient use and
cost-effective maintenance of equipment, the accurate tracking of landside operations,
and the effective invoicing and collection of items such as freight and demurrage
charges are becoming increasingly important to the lines. However, the global scale of
containerisation means that not even the largest container lines have the resources to
manage these processes with equal effectiveness in every region in which they operate,
and this is encouraging the emergence of regionally-based specialist companies with
the local expertise required to handle such processes for them.
Intermodal billing and collections agent Veconinter (Venezolana de Control Intermodal)
is an example of this. Initially set up over 25 years ago to collect container demurrage
and damage costs in Venezuela on behalf of overseas operators, the company remains
based in Caracas, but now operates with 400 employees in 15 countries in Latin
America, the Caribbean, the USA and Africa. It offers a range of billing and collection,
logistical and container inspection services to a client base which includes container
lines China Shipping, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, Hamburg Süd, Hanjin, MSC, NYK,
Seaboard Marine and Zim, as well as forwarders DHL, Kühne and Nagel and Schenker.
Veconinter has some 70 clients in all, on behalf of whom it collected US$300 million in
2014.
The company’s successful organic growth has been based on:
• The combination of its local expertise and regional contact network, and its
extensive knowledge of container operations in parts of the world which often
present global operators with particular challenges.
• The range of freight and demurrage collection, container inspection, tracking and
recovery services it offers.
• Its track record on collections, and its ability to reduce equipment turn-around
time substantially within a few months of taking over local operations on behalf of
its principals.

The graph below shows the annual volume of containers handled by Veconinter since
2008, illustrating the extent of its growth during this time.

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