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Exclusive Interview on Descartes’ acquisition of Supply Vision with Chris Jones, EVP, Descartes Systems Group

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Exclusive Interview on Descartes' acquisition of Supply Vision with Chris Jones, EVP, Descartes Systems Group. Image: Supply Vision
Exclusive Interview on Descartes' acquisition of Supply Vision with Chris Jones, EVP, Descartes Systems Group. Image: Supply Vision
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Chris Jones, EVP Industry & Services, Descartes Systems Group, in an exclusive interview with Freightcomms talking about the acquisition of Supply Vision by Descartes.

1. Please give some background to Supply Vision.

Supply Vision provides domestic and international forwarding and freight brokerage shipment management solutions that provide warehouse management, transportation management, customer shipment visibility and specialized industry capabilities for managing tradeshow shipments.

2. How did the relationship begin?

Both companies have long-term presence in the logistics services provider (LSP) industry and members of Descartes and Supply Vision leadership have known each other for quite a while through industry contact.

What drew each company to the other?

Descartes was attracted to Supply Vision’s domestic freight forwarding management capabilities including air cargo and land-side transportation operations. Supply Vision was looking to combine with a larger organization to expand its capabilities for its customers and its market opportunities.

3. How is MacroPoint improving Supply Vision’s capabilities?

Descartes MacroPoint’s visibility helps in two ways: for Supply Vision’s customers (brokers and forwarders) and for Supply Vision’s customers’ customers (the ultimate shipper of the goods). Supply Vision’s customers (the brokers and forwarders) use third-party carriers to execute their shipments and, to better manage them, they need to understand the real-time status (e.g., location) of shipments. This location data can also be provided to Supply Vision’s customers’ customers (the shippers) to see their shipments and make inventory deployment decisions in advance of its arrival.

4. Is Supply Vision integrating or benefiting from other Descartes’ solutions – if so, which ones?

Yes, Supply Vision will be integrated to the Descartes Global Logistics Network™ (Descartes GLN™) for LSP/carrier communications, and other solutions that support domestic freight brokerage and international transportation.

5. Do you see an upwards trend of more LSPs integrating this kind of technology?

The trend is increasing as LSPs need to digitize their operations to compete. Customers expect better service and this kind of solution helps them better manage shipments and provide that information to customers. LSPs also need to increase margins and make their resources more productive. Supply Vision’s shipment manage solution helps to streamline LSP operations allowing them to do more with their resources.

If so, what are the enablers to investing and integrating in this innovation? On the contrary – what are some of the barriers to integrating/investing that you’re seeing?

Because Supply Vision is a software-as-a-service solution, the cost and complexity of paying for and operating got much easier for LSPs. Upfront fees are lower and costs can be tied more closely to use and IT staff is minimal. The great inhibitor is LSPs breaking from traditional
manual paper-based processes and a reliance on interactions with customers that are too “high touch”, which slows down requests for shipment status, rates, bookings, etc.

6. How will Descartes enhance Supply Vision’s shipment management performance?

Supply Vision has great functionality for domestic forwarding and transportation execution. Efficient transportation execution is very dependent on real-time communications and visibility with carriers, other LSPs, and customers. Descartes’ MacroPoint and GLN networks vastly extend the reach and efficiency of Supply Vision in getting connected with all the parties involved in transportation. Descartes will also add capabilities related to optimization, planning, and mobile solutions into the equation for Supply Vision that will enhance shipment management capabilities.

7. What are some of the most impactful benefits Supply Vision will reap with the acquisition?

Descartes brings greater critical mass and stability to Supply Vision and its customers. Supply Vision will have access to expanded capabilities in areas like customs compliance, customer and carrier integration and other solutions that support LSP operations.

What about Descartes?

The LSP industry is highly specialized. Supply Vision will help Descartes better serve domestic freight forwarders who manage air cargo shipments and land-side transportation operations.

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Freight Forwarding

DB Schenker uses ultra-thin high-tech labels for shipment tracking

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DB Schenker uses ultra-thin high-tech labels for shipment tracking. Image: DB Schenker
DB Schenker uses ultra-thin high-tech labels for shipment tracking. Image: DB Schenker
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Tracking technology as a sticker: DB Schenker is the first logistics provider from Europe to offer global tracking of freight shipments with the new ultra-thin tracking label by high-tech developer Sensos. The disposable label can be attached to containers, pallets, or individual cartons, enabling shipment tracking for land, air and ocean transport on a single shipment base.

David Pollender, Product Owner Business Development IoT at DB Schenker: “Tracking technology now fits into a millimeter-thin sticker. The Sensos label is so small and lightweight that it can be used for freight of any size. In conjunction with DB Schenker’s IoT solution connect2track, it offers optimal visibility and condition monitoring of consignments. This significantly improves the existing offering for our customers and makes tracking even more flexible and secure.”

Aviv Castro, CEO of Sensos: “We took on the mission to disrupt the world of supply chain by delivering infinite end-to-end parcel level visibility. Our solution enables data-driven execution, optimizing logistics for various use cases. We are grateful to have DB Schenker as a design partner from the early days, and for their contribution in achieving the product market fit.”

The label sends real-time data about location and temperature over the mobile network. The customer receives an alert if the package is tampered with during transport. The unobtrusive design of the label increases security for valuable consignments as it does not draw attention, and the tracking remains undetected.

The disposable label is equipped with a lithium-free battery that emits less CO2 in production than conventional batteries and achieves runtimes of up to six months despite its small size. Due to its low weight, the label consumes less energy during transportation, and return shipping is no longer necessary.

DB Schenker was one of the first design partners of Sensos, a group company of the Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation, and contributed to the product offering. As part of this process, the global logistics service provider helped define requirements and tested the Sensos solution in a pilot phase with land and air freight prototypes.

DB Schenker’s Internet-of-Things platform connect2track enables customers to monitor a consignment’s location and condition (e.g. temperature and humidity). It offers a continuously calculated estimated time of arrival based on real-time data, increased security through opening alarms and increased efficiency through supply chain optimization.

 

DB Schenker uses ultra-thin high-tech labels for shipment tracking. Image: DB Schenker

DB Schenker uses ultra-thin high-tech labels for shipment tracking. Image: DB Schenker

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Logistics & Supply Chain

MSC rebrands Bolloré Africa Logistics as Africa Global Logistics

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MSC rebrands Bolloré Africa Logistics as Africa Global Logistics. Image: MSC
MSC rebrands Bolloré Africa Logistics as Africa Global Logistics. Image: MSC
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MSC has reinforced its continuous investment in Africa with the introduction of the AGL brand. Standing for “Africa Global Logistics”, AGL is the new name for the business formerly known as Bolloré Africa Logistics, or BAL.

Having developed its expertise over more than a century and with more than 21,000 employees working in 49 countries, AGL is a reference multimodal logistics operator and is now part of the Cargo Division of MSC Group.

AGL will continue to operate as an independent entity with the full support of family-owned MSC Group’s strength and scale. MSC will count on AGL as a preferred logistics partner, in addition to MSC’s existing MEDLOG inland transportation and logistics business.

Africa Global Logistics has a thriving logistics footprint in Africa, from warehousing and cold storage to other logistics solutions. AGL will also support MSC and all other shipping lines with productive maritime container terminals, as well as efficient multipurpose terminals and rail operations.

MSC is excited about the AGL brand reveal and will continue to invest in all its cargo businesses that operate in Africa, while supporting the sustainable growth and development of the continent.

As a global supply chain leader, MSC understands the critical role that logistics plays in enabling trade, and in growing economies. MSC and AGL remain committed to participating in driving the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), as well as connecting Africa with the rest of the world.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

DP World opens Reefer World, a refrigerated container facility in Sydney

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DP World opens Reefer World, a refrigerated container facility in Sydney. Image: DP World
DP World opens Reefer World, a refrigerated container facility in Sydney. Image: DP World
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DP World has announced the opening of Reefer World, a new one-stop refrigerated container facility in Sydney, which will provide a wide range of reefer cleaning and repair services to customers in Australia and New Zealand.

The dedicated reefer facility is the largest of its kind in Sydney and one of the biggest in Australia, offering various reefer solutions, such as pre-trip wash, inspection and structural repairs, to enhance efficiency and ensure the quality and freshness of perishable cargo delivered to destinations around the globe.

With the opening of this state-of-the-art facility, DP World is doubling its capacity to supply empty reefers, with the ability to pre-trip and wash more than 100 reefer containers daily and capture growing demand for exports from key markets including Brisbane and Melbourne, and also in New Zealand covering Auckland and Tauranga.

Reefer World’s strategic location adjacent to the DP World Sydney Terminal provides customers not just with seamless access to end-to-end cold chain solutions, but also quicker turnaround time through coordinated container movement, cleaning, repairs, customs clearance and storage services. The mega logistics park in Port Botany is well-connected to motorways and has an on-dock rail siding improving rail access into and out of the terminal.

The announcement follows key investment and initiatives by DP World as part of its ongoing strategy to grow and strengthen its operations in Australia.

Andrew Adam, CEO, DP World Australia, said: “As businesses continue to build greater agility, reliability and resilience into their supply chains, Reefer World will help to facilitate the timely and efficient flow of perishable goods, while addressing increased export demand in the region. Its completion further expands DP World’s footprint as one of the largest container terminals and logistics park operators in Australia and cements our position as the go-to partner for customers requiring innovative, agile and scalable end-to-end logistics solutions.”

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