2024 has just started and will be a pivotal year for our company. Before discussing what the future holds, here is a quick recap of how we got here!
In the dynamic and ever-evolving world of global trade and transportation, the humble shipping container, a cornerstone of international logistics, has remained unchanged for decades. This was the case until AELER embarked on its transformative journey, aiming to revolutionise this crucial yet overlooked aspect of global trade, introducing innovation and sustainability to an industry ripe for change.
Where it all Began
Our story began at the picturesque École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) University on the banks of Lake Geneva. Here, a simple yet profound realisation sparked the inception of our revolutionary idea. We recognised that the shipping container, a pivotal element in global logistics, had seen minimal significant innovation since the 1970s. This was our moment of awakening, setting the stage for AELER to become a trailblazer in the logistics industry.
Understanding the industry's needs was our first step. We engaged closely with cargo owners, and their feedback was enlightening. Traditional containers, foundational to modern trade, were fraught with inefficiencies: outdated space utilisation, needing more advanced tracking capabilities, and not meeting current sustainability standards. This feedback was a wake-up call – there was a pressing need for containers that adapted to the needs of cargo owners. At AELER, we viewed the shipping container as a commodity and a potential tool for enhancing transport efficiency. This shift in perspective was foundational, paving the way for the following innovations.
Innovating Towards a Sustainable Future
The unveiling of our prototype in November 2018 marked a significant milestone. The industry's overwhelmingly positive response validated our belief in the sector's readiness for change. Our latest model, Unit One, is not just a new product but represents a paradigm shift in shipping technology. Made with advanced composite materials, it offers increased cargo capacity and significantly reduces CO2 emissions by up to 20%
Moreover, our Control Tower platform, utilising sensors and IoT technology, has transformed logistics operations by providing real-time insights into the container's status, offering transparency and efficiency previously unheard of in maritime logistics.
Introducing a disruptive product into a traditionally conservative market was challenging. We navigated through scepticism, logistical hurdles, and the complex task of establishing a global infrastructure for our containers. However, these challenges only strengthened our resolve and commitment to our vision.
Expanding Horizons: Partnerships and Network Growth
A significant milestone in our journey was the signing of Procter & Gamble as a long-term customer in 2023. This partnership with a global leader in consumer goods was a testament to our product's reliability and efficiency and a signal of the industry's readiness to embrace sustainable and innovative solutions.
In 2024, we expanded our network of partners to 11 globally, including our strategic partnership with LEMAN SA (link to LEMAN article when published). This partnership extended our reach across Scandinavia, enhancing our geographical coverage and commitment to sustainable logistics. LEMAN, known for its comprehensive logistics solutions, aligns with our vision for a sustainable future in logistics.
Our depot network has grown remarkably, expanding to over 80 depots worldwide to meet increasing customer demands. We are committed to developing a more extensive worldwide depot network with plans to add 50 more depots by the end of Q2 2024.
Conclusion: Charting a New Path in Maritime Logistics
As we near the closure of our Series A investment round, we stand not just as a company transforming a product but reshaping an entire industry. This crucial investment will escalate our production capabilities and enhance our team's capacity to manage our expanding global footprint.
Our focus on developing larger container models and an expansive depot network positions AELER uniquely in a space ripe for innovation. Our singular vision and unparalleled innovation in creating smart, sustainable shipping containers place us at the forefront of an industry ready for transformation. As we chart our future course, we remain dedicated to redefining the standards of maritime logistics, driving the industry towards a more sustainable and efficient future.
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