‘I make a fortune buying up abandoned shipping containers’


He launched it from his bedroom at his parents’ house and had just £400 in his current account. Two years later, in 2021, the company’s turnover was £500,000.

Next year Mr Slinn expects it to hit £1m. It is now a two-man band, after Mr Slinn’s brother, Jez, joined when he was made redundant.

The supply chain crisis, and the delays and cost pressures that have come with it, have driven a surge in containers that have been abandoned because the contents have spoilt or the original buyer has gone bust or dis­appeared. This was the case with a cargo of 4,500 face steamers that Mr Slinn recently sold on.

Meanwhile, cargo that does not meet import requirements, such as a container of 50,000 faulty breast implants that was left on the dock in Felixstowe for more than a year, has become increasingly expensive to store. 

For many importers it may be cheaper to sell it on to the likes of Mr Slinn than pay the fees.

He can take on almost anything, stopping the waste from going to landfill. The breast implants ended up being shredded and turned into fuel. Spoilt food cargo goes for ­anaerobic digestion, which produces methane to power people’s homes. Normally he processes 20-50 tons of food a week.

The most gruesome was a 50-ton shipment of bananas in broken refrigeration containers, which had been left for three weeks. “When we opened them, there were waves of juice,” he said.

The cost of buying a container ranges hugely, from £1,000 to £100,000. Mr Slinn often “buys blind”, which means purchasing without a buyer already lined up, but he typically knows what the contents of a container will be. 

There is the occasional surprise: one that was labelled as household goods contained a Peugeot car.


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