Assignment: Master thesis assignment at CARU Containers

CARU Containers – The company

We are CARU Containers. We trade and rent out new and used shipping containers across the globe, operating from offices in 8 countries.
CARU Containers was founded in the year 2000, by our co-founders Rob Tromp, our present CEO, and Paul Ockers they aimed to make container trading more professional and human.
At CARU, we love containers because they’re an unpretentious product. They do what they do, and they’re pretty good at it. And because of their simplicity, the possibilities are endless. In our view is the container the invention from the 20th Century.
We, at CARU, relate to containers, as we are constantly on the move. Exploring other countries, new ways of trading, and new digital technologies.
We aim to make buying and leasing containers a pleasure. Simple, human, transparent, and fun. And it seems this approach is working: we have grown to be one of the largest traders of containers in the world.
CARU Containers is known for giving young professionals a chance to develop themselves and is always looking for good, young people to strengthen the organization with their ideas and capabilities.
The assignment– setting the scene
The number of containers worldwide is roughly 45million.
The ratio between GDP growth and container volume growth has been around 3 in the last decades. So as a rule of thumb, 2% GDP growth worldwide led to 6% container volume growth. How has this ratio developed over the last decades and what is the prediction for the future based on this analysis. What will be the effect on the total container volume, and of course next to that, what is the effect on the container lease and trade specifically. If there would for instance come a surplus of containers when they are not needed anymore by the shipping industry, this will have its effect on the supply for container trade.
In the turbulent times of COVID-19, trade, production and the globalization might take a turn. Over the decades, production of new containers for instance has shifted from US and Europe in the 1960’s, to Japan, South Korea, and mainland China since the 1990’s. What will be the most logical thing to happen in the coming 10-20 years?
Shipping lines are operating in an extremely capital heavy industry. Ships, terminals, but also investments in containers is and will be an important topic. Shipping lines tend to lease their ships at least partly and this also applies for the containers they use. There are major leasing companies like Triton, Textainer and also CARU who are leasing the containers to the shipping lines. In 2020 around 60% of the worldwide containerfleet is owned by leasing companies, used by shipping lines. What will be the development going forward and how will this effect trade? At this moment the supply for our container trade is 99% coming from shipping lines, how will this evolve in the future?
Lastly, the container industry is traditional, but more and more Digital developments will enter and influence the container(trade) market. What is the effect on Digital on the container market and trade? Will there be a similar effect like Uber or Airbnb, or is the industry different than that?

The assignment – deliverables

The assignment is suitable for a thesis. Deliverables are on 4 topics:
1) Development of the Containermarket in general in the past and and outlook for the future.
2) Production of new containers, numbers, locations, predictions linked to 1).
3) Development of fleet-owners of containers. Past development and future prediction + the effect for CARU as a Leasing and Trading company.
4) What digital developments do you see in the container(trading) market and what is the effect in the short and longterm for CARU.
All of the above is accompanied by an advice for CARU Containers on how to act in these fields.
All is delivered in a format, like a presentation and/or a model, which can be updated over the years.

The Job – What are your skills

1) CARU is in need of a passionate graduate, with interest in the container and shipping industry
2) We need a self-starter, able to find his/her own way in the company and visit relevant parties in order to get the best picture.
3) CARU considers Teamwork and respect for people and environment important. People working for and with CARU should share those values.
4) You are analytical, able to deal with data and finding joy in that, good skills in Excel and draw conclusions from the data you retrieve.
5) You are result oriented and a good planner. In a relative short period, you create an overview and draw up an advice for CARU on different topics.


  • Marketconform renumeration.
  • 6 months period.
  • CARU is located in Rotterdam Pernis, like a container company should ;-), however not easy to reach by public transport.
    If you are interested in this vacancy, please send your resume and motivation letter to: Lennart de Bruin