Blogpost #8: Industry Analysis

Last week was once again relatively uneventful. Only a few noteworthy things happened. On Friday when I was on my way home from work, I unexpectedly walked into a Israel versus Palestine protest. I was walking up the stairs at the subway stop by Citadines I use on a regular basis to get to and from work, and was greeted by this protest and at least 100 police officers (from what I could tell). This caught me completely off guard! Protesters from either side were posted up on opposite sides of a major intersection trying to shout their opposition down. This was really interesting from my perspective since I have been to Israel once before and also had the opportunity to visit the Palestinian section as well at the end of a tour of the Western Wall. In fact, we had to be accompanied by 2 armed guards in order to get back to the Jewish sector and I remember feeling very intimidated and scared. Anyway, I do not want to venture too far into that anecdote. I also had the chance to visit the Berlin Espionage Museum and various parts of Potsdam on Sunday. Potsdam is a relatively small city which is located about 40 minutes by train from Berlin. I did lots of walking on dirt trails and saw a few cool palaces from the Prussian Empire. I also randomly saw the famous world clock of Berlin on my way from the Espionage Museum to Potsdam, which I had been meaning to see for a while, so that was a nice added in bonus!

Kirsen Security Group operates in the multi-modal container monitoring services industry. This is a very important industry which is external, but related to the logistics and shipping industry. Moreover, KGS serves a major logistics company named DB Schenker directly. We provide them and their clients with container monitoring devices that enable them to keep high-value goods safe during long journeys (often times via ship across the Atlantic Ocean). The major product categories in this industry would be devices for dry containers, devices for reefer containers, and smart container technology (which has a stronger focus on technology built directly into the container as opposed to having a device that can be attached to an ordinary shipping container). However, smart container technology is currently more in the development stage than it is in the implementation stage in its development. Our major competitors include: TRAXƎNS, Orbcomm, VTT, Arviem, and EOS.

While I can only speak for my firm, one of the major challenges I see in the industry is that it is relatively niche. Not every container that is shipped needs to be tracked closely. This industry can only realistically serve customers shipping valuable and/or dangerous goods. Hence, supply is not incredibly high, so firms in the industry have to service prices high in order to be sustainable. Customers sometimes do not like the higher prices, putting firms in this industry between a rock and a hard place (to a degree). However, maybe one day all containers will be fully monitored (to some degree) if the technology gets better and cheaper. Then there could be a great opportunity for firms this industry to really take off and multiply their current  margin of profitability with some sort of a high supply/low price model. This industry should be of interest to business people, especially those who are involved in logistics and supply chain. This is part of the future of technology that is going to help make supply chains run more efficiently and provide more cost effective solutions (through reduced insurance premiums), which is generally the goal of supply chain management.