From Australian Army Officer to one of Ernst & Young’s 24 global Accelerated Entrepreneurs: CEC Systems CEO Nicholas Press

Ten years ago a young Nicholas Press was carrying out his first operational tour of Afghanistan.

Deployed as a Strategic Logistics Officer with the Australian Army in 2008 he found himself continuously noticing the significant number of shipping containers that were coming into a country that was already overflowing with military equipment.

Over time, Afghanistan became overtaken by these shipping containers, each container was taking up valuable space and becoming a hassle for Army bases across the country.

Thousands of containers were left scattered across Afghanistan, but why? Because the cost of the container was significantly outweighed by the cost to return containers to their owners.

Nicholas found himself thinking about the wider implications of empty containers across the global supply chain, after years upon years of research, he uncovered the sheer size and scale of the problem.

Fast forward 7 years and CEC Systems was born.

CEO Nicholas took it upon himself to design a brand new concept for a collapsible shipping container. Take a 40-foot intermodel container, collapse it into a quarter of its original size and what do you get… the world’s first semi-automated Collapsible-Economic-Container known as COLLAPSECON.

But, just what exactly is CEC Systems? Officially founded in 2015, CEC Systems is an industrial technology developer. Described in 3 words, CEC Systems is innovative, collaborative and agile.

They focus on developing integrated technologies for the Shipping & Logistics industries that are Simple, Efficient, Affordable and Safe (SEAS).

Nicholas says: “We do this because we believe that while everyone is more and more focused on IT, to generate real operational efficiencies, return on investment and environmental benefits, in parallel, there must also be an evolution of foundational technology that can have significant impact over the long term.”

3 years on from the official start of the business, CEC Systems continues to grow from strength to strength. It has received multiple recognition’s and  became 1 of 24 companies chosen from across the Asia-Pacific to join the Ernst & Young’s global Accelerating Entrepreneur competition.

He said: “We were the recipient of an Accelerated Commercialisation Grant from AusIndustry; were accepted into Austrade’s Singapore Landing Pad; established an MOU with the Singapore Institute of Technology and Research (part of Singapore’s A*STAR); and were a recipient of consultant support through EY’s Vantage Program.”

Headquartered in Sydney, operating from Singapore and manufacturing in Vietnam, it’s not hard to see why Wholesale Investor took CEC Systems on our Emergence Asia roadshow as one of our showcasing clients.

CEC Systems were delighted to be featured as a ‘physical technology amongst the many crypto and bitcoin offerings alongside such a high quality of attendees.’

With regards to Emergence Asia 2018, Nicholas says: “The events have opened potential investment doors and we hope that more people take note of this different company. We were always intent on being a global company with a focus in Asia.”

Why Asia? Nicholas explains: “Given that Asia is one of the most important shipping regions globally, there are many strategically aligned companies and investors that understand the industry, the technology and the benefits.

With regards to investment, after 3 years of R&D, at present we are raising capital to commercial the system, build additional units to commence trials with numerous shipping lines and logistics operators, and start developing other variants of our technology.”

CEC Systems are pioneering shipping and logistics innovation but they still have a lot left in the pipeline for the future.

Nicholas says: “We have multiple products in development ranging in size and function. Over the next few years we will be rolling these products out to the market as well as embarking on our process of continual product evolution. This will involve understanding user feedback and building in upgrades/optimisation of our products to consistently develop better integrated solutions.”

Given that many of the major shipping lines and logistics providers are European, the ambitious CEC Systems intend on expanding to Europe, North America and South America within the next 5 years.


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