Brilliant business idea: high school student Jake Slinn buys abandoned shipping containers and becomes rich
Thousands of containers are stranded in the pandemic. Jake Slinn makes his fortune with them. Three years ago he started his company in his parents’ bedroom with a capital of £400.
The remainder trade is flourishing in the pandemic. Companies buy surplus goods from dealers and then resell them. They are benefiting from the pandemic that has forced many retailers to shut down. There is also a growing market for abandoned containers. Because of the pandemic and the blockage in the Suez Canal, there are the well-known stoppages in the global supply chains. That also means the whole world is full of containers that don’t get to their recipients – or at least not on time.
Containers cost money
And these containers become a problem because they get stranded in some container terminal around the world and then cost money. If no owner gets in touch, the owners of the facilities want to get rid of this dead cargo, which is taking up their valuable storage space, as quickly as possible.
And that’s where Brit Jake Slinn comes in. After school, at the age of 19, he looked for a job and founded “JS Global Cargo & Freight Disposal” – the impressive name belied the fact that the company was based in a corner of his parents’ bedroom. His starting capital was £400. With this, Slinn began buying up and reselling the contents of unwanted shipping containers. Or, if that doesn’t work, dispose of it.
Purchase on file
The store usually buys “blind”. That is, Slinn doesn’t actually look at the container beforehand. Based on the papers, however, the buyer usually knows what is inside. And can guess what condition it is in. Some containers have valuable cargo. Slinn recently purchased 4500 “facial saunas” that steam the skin. Others simply contain junk that needs to be disposed of. In a container, Slinn found 50,000 breast implants that were not allowed to be used, they were shredded and burned. From time to time there are also surprises, for example if the container was used for smuggling. A full-size car was found in a steel box that was declared for household goods.
Food gone bad
The biggest hit in the pandemic is expired and spoiled food. They tolerate the delivery delays the worst. Slinn’s worst case was a 50-ton load of bananas in broken refrigerated containers that had been stored for three weeks and completely decomposed in the sun. When he opened the containers, a wave of stinky banana juice spilled out.
Food is industrially fermented to produce methane gas. Slinn now processes 20-50 tons per week. The cost of a container varies widely, from £1,000 to £100,000. All in all, Slinn makes good profits. In 2022, three years after founding the company, he aims to achieve sales of more than one million pounds.