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Geodis opens online bookings and quotations platform for air and ocean freight
Friday, 30 March 2018 02:57

FRENCH freight forwarder Geodis has launched a online quotations and bookings platform for air and ocean shipments using its Intelligent Real-time Information System (IRIS).

The new features of the system, which automates key steps in the booking process to improve data accuracy and efficiency, are already live in Belgium, Indonesia, Sweden and the US. The rollout is continuing gradually.

The company said that its pricing engine "offers visibility on end-to-end cost structures, covering port-to-port rates, local charges, pick-up, and first and final mile deliveries," reported London's Air Cargo News.

IRIS also provides full visibility on shipment statuses in real time, access to shipment-related documentation, label printing, key performance indicator (KPI) management, milestone alerts, exception management and customised reporting including financials.

According to executive vice president freight forwarding Kim Pedersen, the new system is "a constantly evolving, robust and innovative platform that enables our customers to take their supply chain management to the next level, far beyond track and trace.

"More than 20,000 of our customers are using IRIS already today, and it will help them and many more to become more efficient, now and in the future."

APL, AB InBev, Accenture, Kuehne + Nagel successfully test blockchain for shipments
Thursday, 29 March 2018 01:24

More progress is steadily being made in blockchain technology, with a consortium comprising AB InBev, Accenture, APL, Kuehne + Nagel and a European customs organization successfully testing a blockchain solution with real shipments to multiple destinations.

The consortium tested a solution where documents are no longer exchanged physically or digitally but instead, the relevant data is shared and distributed using blockchain technology under single ownership principles determined by the type of information.

“Our trials have proven the viability of a shipping process in which many documents can be replaced by secure and distributed data sharing with clear and defined ownership,” said Adriana Diener-Veinott, who leads Accenture’s Freight & Logistics industry practice. “This gives companies a significant opportunity to save time and money while improving their service to customers.”

The consortium, which represents typical stakeholders across an international shipment, collaborated to test 12 real shipments, with various destinations, each with different regulatory requirements. The tests confirmed that blockchain can reduce operating costs and increase supply chain visibility.

Each organization involved in the trials typified a particular stakeholder in the shipping process: AB InBev represented a typical exporter; APL contributed its role as a shipping organization; Kuehne + Nagel provided direction on the requirements for a freight forwarder and a European customs organization replicated the regulatory requirements that cargo faces. Accenture provided the technological and consulting expertise on the blockchain technology and developed the technical architecture required to support a blockchain solution, leveraging the capabilities of its Singapore Internet of Things practice to rapidly build the prototype.

“As a facilitator of global trade and strong advocate of innovation, APL sees much potential in blockchain technology to accelerate the digital transformation of the container shipping industry, moving us from traditional paper-based transactions to more efficient, more secure and faster processes along the entire supply chain,” said Eddie Ng, head of Strategic Liner Management at APL. “We are therefore happy to be part of the exciting journey to explore how disruptive technology like blockchain can benefit our industry, and ultimately our shippers and their customers.”

Kuehne + Nagel International cio Martin Kolbe said: “As part of Kuehne + Nagel’s digitalization strategy, we explore innovative technologies to create benefits for our customers. Blockchain is one of the most promising technologies in logistics. It has the potential to digitalize many of today’s paper-based processes and overcome the multitude of different interfaces. From our perspective, the open and collaborative approach applied in this project is key to gaining traction in the industry and the required market acceptance.”

“We continually evaluate new technologies and innovations to enhance our operations to meet consumer needs and deliver the freshest beer,” said AB InBev international logistic vp Danillo Figueiredo. “Blockchain technology will be transformational to our business and the world. It reduces mistakes, digitizes information and improves the supply chain process so we can focus on our core business of brewing the best beers for consumers.”

An international shipment of goods for companies in areas such as the automotive, retail or consumer goods industries typically requires more than 20 different documents, which can reduce real-time visibility and ultimately result in delayed financial settlement on goods.

The blockchain solution can speed up the entire flow of transport documents and reduce the requirement for data entry by up to 80%. The reduction or elimination of printed shipping documents is seen potentially saving the freight and logistics industry hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

Ho Chi Minh City looks to develop sea-based economy
Monday, 26 March 2018 02:35

As the country’s largest economic hub, Ho Chi Minh City plans to enhance its sea-based economy as part of its strategy to develop the city.

The operation of the Soai Rap sea route in 2014 under the city’s strategic plan of “moving towards the sea” has helped increase the number of ships entering the city, especially foreign ones.

The Sai Gon – Hiep Phuoc is one of three ports in the route. Currently, the port has deployed 500 metres of wharf, capable of receiving 50,000 tonne-ships. An additional 1,000 metres will be built in the coming time, helping receive cargo ships in the region.

"The Sai Gon – Hiep Phuoc port has received more than 200 tonnes of cargo with more than 20 ships since it began operation in July 2017," said Deputy Director of Sai Gon Port Joint Stock Company, Nguyen Quoc Hung.

"The port is expected to receive more in the future," he added.

According to the city’s development plan, the locality will develop eastward and southward to the sea. Under the plan, the will be four big towns in Hiep Phuoc area.

The area will become a waterway transport hub for the whole Ho Chi Minh City area, the southeast and the Mekong Delta regions.

"The Hiep Phuc urban town is part of the port’s industrial zone," said Ph.D Nguyen Van Trinh, Deputy Chairman of Development and Research Institute of Ho Chi Minh City. "To prepare for infrastructure development, the city should continue dredging Soai Rap River to increase the port’s capacity," he said.

As the sole coastal district of Ho Chi Minh City, Can Gio plays the most important role in the city’s economic development strategy towards the Sea.

According to Chairman of People’s Committee of Can Gio district, Le Minh Dung to develop the sea-based economy, the city need huge investment resource. Besides, the district also needs to develop agricultural tourism, aquaculture and seafood processing, among others.

The city is studying a project on building Can Gio marine ecological tourism town. In the future, the area will become a green town and a gateway from Ho Chi Minh City toward the sea.

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