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Finding the Right Connection

The Connectainer from Spanish company ESES is the invention of logistics specialist, Jesus Garcia, Fran Aguilar and Juan Ureta. The solution which transforms 20ft containers into 40ft containers and vice versa. The goal, the company says, is to have its product cover at least 5% of the global market of containers.

Speaking to Port Technology International, Jesus Garcia, General Manager, ESES, explains how the new product was developed between the three entrepreneurs, how the Connectaienr solves a number of problems in the container market and what is next for the company.

The Connectainer is a brand-new invention, can you explain how you and your partners managed to go from initial idea to a functional reality?

Fran, Juan and I have been always linked to logistic operations at different levels, mainly through our work with container shipping lines, container terminals and depots.

One of the most recurrent problems that Fran and I faced during our time at China Shipping was  the high demand of different sizes of container equipment at Spanish Ports and the need to ship out the surplus.

We tried to move them between West Mediterranean ports in the most efficient way but in the end we knew moving empties back and forth was costly and in order to drive value in the supply chain we had to cut costs.

In January 2014, during our usual midday walk at the Port of Barcelona, we started to think how we could attack the root cause of the problem, namely how to move and ship empty containers at gateway ports and even import and export already existing cargo that needed specific equipment.  We decided to investigate the market and we did not find such a solution.

The seed was sown but we needed an expert to make it a reality, this is when we asked Juan Ureta to join us. That year, we applied for our first patent in Spain, which was approved in October 2015, this is when we created ‘Connectainer & Intermodal Solutions, S.L.’. In 2016 we continued improving our analytical tool and sought to find rock-solid economic and environmental models which would see shipping lines use Connectainer to generate huge financial savings while cutting greenhouse gases (GHGs). At the end of 2016 we received private investment and requested the rest of the necessary international patents. In 2017 and 2018 we continued working on our first prototype and the following year received firm confirmation of our USA and European patent. We then finished building of first prototypes and presented them in Barcelona during the Smart Ports event.

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Interview with Jesus Garcia, General Manager, ESES