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ZIM Invests In Container Tracking Company Hoopo

Mike Schuler
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August 12, 2022

Israeli container shipping company ZIM has invested $5.5 million in a container tracking firm as the market for “smart” containers is set to explode.

ZIM revealed itself as a participant in a Series A financing round alongside other new and existing investers in Hoopo Systems, a provider of tracking solutions for unpowered assets like dry shipping containers. The investment is intended to help Hoopo develop technology for the maritime industry, including the use of solar-powered tracking devices for containers.

“In a time when the ability to improve supply chains has proven to be a critical competency, we are pleased to embark on this new digital initiative. There are approximately 26 million dry containers worldwide, and Hoopo’s cutting-edge tracking technology has the potential to revolutionize the way industry players track their movement, enabling further optimization of container fleets,” said Eli Glickman, President and CEO of ZIM. “We look forward to working with the team at Hoopo on the implantation of this first-of-its-kind solution in our dry container fleet as well as promoting its adoption across the industry.”

According to shipping industry analyst Drewry, the market for “smart” is set to explode in the coming years as supply chain stakeholders are seeking to gain more visibility into freight movements as supply chains have descended into chaos during the COVID-19 pandemic. Drewry forecasts the fleet of “telematics enabled container equipment” is set grow 8-fold over the next five years and account for 25% of the global box fleet by 2026—or about 8.7 million units.

For comparison, at the end of 2021 only 3.6% of the global container fleet was equipped with such devices, according to Drewry figures, but technology is mainly reserved for reefer and intermodal containers, where smart containers represent approximately a third and 40% of the respective global fleets. Only 0.3% correspond to dry containers.

In April, German ocean carrier Hapag-Lloyd announced intention to equip its entire dry box fleet, representing approximately 3 million TEU, with smart devices as it seeks to become a “first-mover” in the space. This will likely force other leading carriers to follow suit.

“We are excited to form this partnership with one of the leading, and most innovative companies in the maritime industry,” said Ittay Hayut, CEO ofHoopo. “This huge vote of confidence from new and existing investors, together with Hoopo’s technology, and ZIM’s experience and knowledge, will allow us to transform dry containers into smart and digital fleets.”

ZIM’s website shows that its container fleet is about 550,000 TEUs of various types. The company considers itself to be an “asset light” shipping company, operating a fleet of containerships that is nearly entirely chartered-in. But since ZIM’s success following its IPO in January 2021, it’s been dabbling more into ownership and side ventures, including car carriers.

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