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will soon introduce their environmentally-friendly new EKO-FLOR product to the shipping
container industry after having finally developed a composite flooring system that will
change the container industry, forever
Conforce International, Inc.
584 Hazelhurst Road,
President and CEO
Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
November 17, 2005
President and CEO
Mr. Marino Kulas has been in the container industry for over 25 years. For Toronto Reefer
Container (TRC), Mr. Kulas was responsible for the business development of the TRC
companies. In 1997, Mr. Kulas purchased TRC and in 2001, he commenced the research and
development of the EKO-FLOR project. In 2003, he started the business of
Conforce 1 Container Terminals. During his years in the business, Mr. Kulas has amassed a
vast network of contacts in the steamship container industry. He oversees all aspects of
the day-to-day operations of the business while maintaining his primary focus on the
companys growth and direction through new product development, terminal expansion
and key account acquisition.
In addition to its business of container terminal operations, Conforce, in 2001, embarked
on the research and development of a revolutionary new container flooring system,
EKO-FLOR. The environmentally friendly product is a revolutionary floor replacement made
from a unique and proprietary composite designed to significantly reduce operating costs
for the customer, while enhancing the total versatility of the container/trailer.
The companys mission statement is a reflection
of their corporate philosophy of responsibility: We believe that that a delicate
balance exists between economics and ecology. Therefore, we are committed to the
optimization of shareholder value, as well as, the preservation of the world we will leave
behind. Though innovation, we will strive to redefine our industry. With integrity, we
CEOCFO: Mr. Kulas, what
is changing at Conforce?
Mr. Kulas: The exciting news is that the company has
developed a new product, a new container flooring system for the container and trailer
industries. It is a composite floor that has numerous benefits over the existing wood
floor that is in the market today.
CEOCFO: What is
revolutionary about it and why is there a need for it?
Mr. Kulas: Our EKO-FLOR is an innovative flooring
system that will completely replace the wood floor product that is currently the standard
in the container industry. Wood has its limitations with respect to its versatility. The
EKO-FLOR can enable all containers to be used for any and all types of cargo, which is
currently not the case today. 90% of all goods transported worldwide, are done so in
shipping containers. You can transport computers, hazardous chemicals and food-stuffs
without the possibility of cargo contamination.
CEOCFO: Have people
looked for substitutes before?
Mr. Kulas: Yes they have. Companies have tried steel,
as well as other composite variations including engineered fiber. In short, steel is too
heavy, and engineered fiber is still wood based so it has inherently the same unfavorable
characteristics as wood. One of the main negatives is that odor and stain absorption
remains an issue, and the environment is not the beneficiary as is the case with
CEOCFO: How do we know
that EKO-FLOR will stand the test of time?
Mr. Kulas: During lab testing, our products
strength profile has repeatedly tested significantly stronger than wood. Therefore, the
results conclusively indicate that the life span will be proportionately greater than that
CEOCFO: How do you go
from having created EKO-FLOR to getting it in-use?
Mr. Kulas: We have been in the container industry for
over 25 years and deal with the multinational shipping corporations. These are the people
that we deal with on a day-to-day basis with our existing container terminal business.
Because of the longevity management has enjoyed in the industry, we have the benefit of
knowing the deficiencies in the current product, as well as understanding the requirements
of our customer. This relationship has allowed us to introduce the EKO-FLOR to our
customers and various stages of its development. Their positive feedback has encouraged us
to develop and launch this product in an industry that is seeking just this type of
CEOCFO: Will you be
manufacturing this yourselves?
Mr. Kulas: No. In order to keep up with the order
demands of this vast industry, it would not be feasible to open a single plant, and
adequately service a global market. Therefore, we have reached an agreement with one of
the worlds largest plastics manufactures whereby we have granted them exclusive
production rights. Together we have allocated several facilities in strategic locations to
efficiently service the projected demand. One of the first facilities producing EKO-FLOR
will be in Shanghai.
CEOCFO: Where is the
opportunity in the container manufacturing industry in general?
Mr. Kulas: The sheer size of the industry provides us
with an enormous opportunity. There are upwards of 5 million TEU containers that are built
CEOCFO: You have
recently become a publicly traded company, how does that affect Conforce?
Mr. Kulas: Being publicly traded enables us to act on
opportunities where significant capital is required. Private companies sometimes face
barriers as a result of their financial limitations. The liquidity offered to potential
investors ensures us of competitive project financing if and when needed.
CEOCFO: What is the
financial picture for the company?
Mr. Kulas: Very sound. The current revenue generating
operations are fundamentally sound. This enables us to explore various opportunities and
to attract financing based on the individual merits of each project.
CEOCFO: It sounds like
there is a lot going on at Conforce!
Mr. Kulas: There definitely is and we are extremely
excited about our future!
CEOCFO: How do you work
on many different levels without losing focus?
Mr. Kulas: As President of the company, its my
duty to ensure that we consistently meet our objectives on all levels. To do so, we have
assembled an extremely talented team whose primary focus remains the profitable,
sustainable growth of the company.
CEOCFO: How will the
EKO-FLOR system save money for customers?
Mr. Kulas: The savings are two-pronged. First, our
customers will save money through a significant reduction in billable man-hours. EKO-FLOR
is not affected by the extreme conditions to which containers are subjected. EKO-FLOR will
not need to be replaced or repaired due to stain/odor absorption, nor will the EKO-FLOR
need to be replaced due to repeated sanding or de-lamination caused by exposure to water
or snow. On the occasions where repairs are required to EKO-FLOR, its patented interlock
design significantly reduces the time required for panel repair. Secondly, because every
EKO-FLOR container can be used for all types of cargo, the shipping lines will be able to
draw upon a larger fleet, increasing their revenue potential by eliminating the
condemnation a significant portion of their fleet due to flooring issues.
CEOCFO: What is the size
of a typical container?
Mr. Kulas: The two most popular sizes for international
shipping are the twenty-foot and forty-foot containers.
CEOCFO: In closing, why
should investors consider investing in Conforce International?
Mr. Kulas: In addition to a having fundamentally sound
business operation in an industry unaffected by trends or recessions, Conforce has,
without question, a product that is right for the time. EKO-FLOR incorporates a rare mix
of economic feasibility and environmental integrity. The enormity of the industry in which
we strive affords us the opportunity for huge growth potential. More importantly, Conforce
has undertaken to change the way it is, for the way it should be. We invite market
participants to be part of an evolution that will reward the investor and the environment
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