15 Aug 2012
Thinking Outside the Box
Mark Hendley, Managing Director, Easycrate
United Kingdom corporate removals company Easycrate Ltd has expanded its plastic crate rental service to Hong Kong, opening last month in Tsuen Wan, in the New Territories. It’s the company’s first overseas venture, taken after identifying an untapped demand.
Easycrate CEO Robert Bradley said an established relationship with local partner Mark Hendley, appointed Managing Director of Easycrate Hong Kong, had set the groundwork for the Hong Kong expansion.
“Mark has been instrumental to the launch of Easycrate in Hong Kong,” Mr Bradley said. “Being a longtime resident, he helped us to assess the compatibility of the solutions that Easycrate offers in the UK with the unique requirements of businesses here. This insight has enabled us to develop bespoke solutions for Hong Kong businesses and residents alike.”
Until this point, Mr Bradley said, there had been no alternative to cardboard boxes, which contribute greatly to landfill, in transporting corporate goods. Easycrate’s Returnable Transit Packaging offers corporations returnable plastic boxes, which can be moved, stacked and cleaned with ease. “By not having to throw away the boxes once their purpose is complete, it provides a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way of relocating items and can be hired over and over again,” he said.
Perfect Business Hub
|Easycrate’s reusable plastic storage crates offer an enviromentally friendly solution|
Mr Hendley agrees. “Hong Kong, the most dynamic and fastest-growing business hub in Asia, was the obvious choice for us.”
He views Hong Kong as the launching pad for expansion in Asia. “We see a clear opportunity here, largely fuelled by the fact that there are no current competitors. Crates are versatile enough to be used by businesses of any size and description, and for private use, so the market opportunity is almost limitless. Because of the variety of businesses in Hong Kong, and the region’s eagerness to embrace greener issues, we want to focus on Hong Kong initially, with offices in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to follow shortly.”
The partners are targeting a broad customer base. “We see both a commercial and domestic market for this product,” Mr Hendley said. “Our business model tends to focus on businesses relocating, as the crates are ideally suited to making their lives a whole lot easier in terms of packing computers, files, office equipment and moving them safely and easily. Domestically, it enables people moving house or redecorating to store items and move them around high-rises without breaking their backs.”
The product is also in line with Hong Kong’s environmental objectives. “We believe that the plastic crate is an easy answer to Hong Kong’s green push,” Mr Hendley said. “The whole crate hire model is aimed at companies and individuals wanting a greener alternative. Our crates are reusable, and their robust nature means that they naturally have a long lifecycle. We deliver the crates, they are used and then we collect them for reuse. Nothing gets thrown away, because the crates are so hard to damage there is no disposal needed if they get wet or even if they are dropped. We know that by simply switching to crates, you can reduce your packaging disposal for an average-sized business by up to 35 per cent.”
The timing “couldn’t be better,” he said, given that about six million tonnes of municipal solid waste are generated each year. And with the city’s three major landfills projected to be full by 2019, the government is looking at alternatives.
“For us, the missing link to the market will be education. As there are no competitors on the market, we need to introduce our crates to potential customers so they know that there is actually a greener alternative out there.”