Connect with us

Logistics & Supply Chain

Exclusive Interview: Paul Soong,Regional Director ANZ, BluJay Solutions

Published

on

Exclusive Interview: Paul Soong,Regional Director ANZ, BluJay Solutions. Image: Unsplash
Exclusive Interview: Paul Soong,Regional Director ANZ, BluJay Solutions. Image: Unsplash
Listen to the story (FreightComms AudioPost)

BluJay Solutions, Regional Director ANZ Paul Soong in an exclusive interview with Freightcomms to capture his thoughts on global disruption in the logistics and supply chain industry and the fast adoption of software technology. 

With disruption globally, what are the factors affecting freight rates for both sea and air and how has this impacted BluJay business?

Disruption generally causes a level of uncertainty in the supply chain process.  Historically, this has meant an increase in the level of risk associated with predictive analysis and availability of delivery channels. In 2020, factors primarily caused by COVID (although factors such the changing relationship between China and America and Brexit are other examples) have been reflected in air and sea freight rates, with a sharp increase starting in March, with its peak in May-June. While rates have slowly trended downwards, current rates are higher (nearly double) to the same corresponding period in 2019.

As a provider of supply chain software, Blujay has become a critical component in providing companies visibility of rates and a high level of optimisation to allow real time decision making to increase operational efficiency.

What is the backup strategy for BluJay solutions in the second wave of COVID-19, especially considering lockdown in most of the European countries?

Blujay’s current experience with dealing with the uncertainty of Brexit for European companies, translates into other high-pressure environments (such as the second wave) of COVID. Companies are able to adjust and adapt to ever-changing disruptions to supply chains (such as border closures). The reliance on real-time information is paramount during these “uncertain” periods, with this likely to become the new norm.

As we are at the new year, how do you see the logistics and supply chain industry adapting to changing business needs?

If I were to predict the major theme for 2021, it would be resilience. 2020 truly tested the global supply chain to the max; particularly in terms of backlogs caused by social distancing requirements, closed borders and the explosion in online shopping as physical retail stores were forced to close.

Therefore, the priority for supply chain and logistics firms this year will be to ensure the same degree of disruption does not occur again. For this reason, on the consumer side of things, we are seeing investment in solutions that enable increased visibility on shipments. This allows logistics firms to manage customer expectations in case of a delay as well as afford the customer more flexible delivery options.

On the industry and manufacturing side, we are seeing businesses investigate new parts and manufacturing supply chain models that move away from the current ‘just in time’ model that has previously been the industry norm. In light of ongoing COVID related disruption, many manufacturers simply cannot afford the extreme level of supply chain disruption we saw last year to continue, so localised supply chain models may be more attractive as a way to minimise risk.

What is the role of market intelligence and transport management systems in today’s changing business needs?

Transport management systems are more important now than ever before. We have seen that TMS solutions are moving beyond being just a freight management tool and are now seen as a vital enabler of high-quality customer service. The best TMS solutions today enable clear and up to date delivery tracking and also allow delivery providers to offer more flexibility for customers, meaning they can select the most convenient delivery times, alter final destination details and allow for contactless drop off if need be.

Today’s business requirements of increased resilience whilst also ensuring fast delivery mean that logistics firms must be capable of scaling up capacity, speed and tracking functionality whilst also ensuring social distancing and employee safety requirements are met. For this reason, TMS solutions have a vital role to play to ensure delivery firms can stay ahead of future delivery peaks, minimise disruption and therefore secure lucrative ongoing relationships with industry.

With increase in online shopping, How is BluJay solutions helping to deliver customer expectations?

Recent BluJay research revealed that despite current disruption, today’s consumers have heightened expectations around the delivery experience, pointing to free and fast shipping as well as flexible and traceable deliveries as key motivators for making a purchase online. Considering that the current explosion in online retail is here to stay, it is therefore vital that retailers and delivery firms work together to ensure delivery experiences meet and exceed customer expectations.

BluJay helps delivery firms to achieve this goal by providing a suite of software solutions that covers all areas of the supply chain, from pre-postage to delivery. BluJay solutions enable delivery firms to provide superior package tracking and delivery flexibility for customers across multiple touchpoints, including social media messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp as well as delivery and retailers’ own websites. Further BluJay also helps to boost retail supply chain resiliency by enabling efficient contactless delivery as required by COVID-19 legislation in many regions across the globe.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Logistics & Supply Chain

Geek+and AMH Material Handling deliver the robotic sortation project with Asda Logistics Services

Published

on

Geek+and AMH Material Handling deliver the robotic sortation project with Asda Logistics Services. Image: Geek+
Geek+and AMH Material Handling deliver the robotic sortation project with Asda Logistics Services. Image: Geek+
Listen to the story (FreightComms AudioPost)

Geek+, a global leader in robotic automation solutions, is excited to announce the successful collaboration with Asda Logistics Services (ALS) and AMH Material Handling to launch an intelligent sorting system in Asda’s distribution center. The system will provide Asda with the capacity to support continued growth across its parcel collection and returns business.

Sixty robots have been placed into the supermarket’s South Elmsall, West Yorkshire distribution center, allowing 2,000 parcels to be sorted each hour with 99.99% accuracy through its Asda toyou service.

The installation marks the first time the technology has been used in this way in the UK, supporting an increase in capacity for Asda toyou’s services as demand for parcel collection and returns services has grown at pace in the last 12 months. With the pandemic causing a change in customer behavior and an uplift in the number of purchases made online, Asda toyou experienced significant growth through the provision of a reliable, convenient returns solution that allowed shoppers to combine activities in a single trip to an Asda store.

At the same time, Asda toyou has expanded the number of retailers it supports. Over 100 are now available via the service, which has seen it process 65% more returns than at the start of 2020.

The project was implemented by AMH Material Handling, a top provider of material handling solutions, and Geek+. By integrating S20C robots into the existing ALS sorting system, it has provided Asda toyou the ability to respond to rapid changes in order volume and continue to provide excellent services during periods of peak demand.

Lit Fung, VP and Managing Director of Geek+ APAC, UK and Americas, says: “We’re proud to see AMH leverage our sorting system to support a leading retailer like Asda with the flexibility and efficiency needed to expand its Asda toyou business. The process for intelligent sorting is pretty straightforward. By letting a network of AMRs transfer incoming parcels from workstations to cages of corresponding destinations, we can improve accuracy and efficiency while also making the process more ergonomic for warehouse employees. With no need for fixed platform development, it makes it easy for Asda to scale operations in line with business growth. All they have to do is adjust the number of robots and destination chutes.”

Adrian Carter, Sales Director at AMH Material Handling, says: “We had a lot of fun delivering the solution as Geek+ sorting robots are a highly flexible technology that can be integrated and customized to work with existing equipment on customer sites, such as conveyor belts or other robots. It provides us a powerful tool for optimizing sorting operations according to the specific needs of each customer. And, as an integrator, AI-enabled robotics solutions add a new dimension to our services as it allows us to continuously support our customers according to changes in business needs.”

Jon Parry, Vice President of Asda Logistics Services (ALS) at Asda, says: “We’re pleased to be one of the first retailers in the UK to pioneer the Geek+ S20C robots in our National Sortation Centre working in collaboration with partners at Geek+ and AMH. The robots work alongside our colleagues, enabling us to drive greater efficiencies at times of peak demand, which have helped to boost the number of parcels we’re now able to sort through our Asda toyou service.”

Geek+ and AMH started to cooperate in 2019 when AMH recognized Geek+ robotics solutions provided industry-leading technology. Today, the two work closely together to provide clients all over the UK with great automation solutions.

 

Continue Reading

Logistics & Supply Chain

FourKites announces industry-first tracking quality guarantee

Published

on

FourKites announces industry-first tracking quality guarantee. Image: Unsplash
FourKites announces industry-first tracking quality guarantee. Image: Unsplash
Listen to the story (FreightComms AudioPost)

FourKites, the #1 real-time supply chain visibility platform, has announced an industry-first, comprehensive Tracking Quality Guarantee that spans every major mode of transportation, including truckload, less-than-truckload, rail, ocean and air, as well as end-to-end tracking for shipments that span multiple modes.

“Customers are investing in supply chain visibility as a mission-critical solution,” said Mathew Elenjickal, FourKites Founder and CEO. “As such, they deserve both speed and quality to ensure that their implementation is successful and to get maximum value from their investment. As the world’s largest visibility platform, we’re thrilled to raise the bar with the industry’s most rigorous Tracking Quality Guarantee to help our customers succeed.”

With over 500 customers across 176 countries and all major industries, FourKites’ network touches 50% of the Fortune 500, including giants such as Walmart Canada, The Dow Chemical Company, Eastman, Meijer, PetSmart, The Michaels Companies, Land O’Lakes, Coca-Cola, AB InBev, Constellation Brands and 3M. Tracking over 2 million active shipments every day, FourKites leverages the billions of data points in its platform to proactively identify, alert and mitigate exceptions using artificial intelligence and machine learning-based algorithms.

The new FourKites guarantee, which establishes the highest standards in supply chain data quality across all modes, ensures:

  • Full Truckload Shipments: FourKites will identify unassigned shipments and shipments with bad appointment times 90% of the time and identify 90%+ of late shipments prior to arrival. FourKites will also provide a predictive ETA for customer shipments even if they cannot be tracked in real time by using FourKites’ patented machine-learning based Smart Forecasted Arrival (SFA), which only needs a proof of pickup to generate a highly accurate ETA.
  • Less Than Truckload (LTL) Shipments: FourKites will identify unassigned shipments 90%+ of the time and outperform carrier ETA 90% of the time across all LTL carriers. Furthermore, FourKites’ unique machine-learning based Dynamic ETA® provides an ETA within a 4-hour window — an industry-first for LTL freight.
  • Rail Shipments: FourKites will identify 90%+ of late shipments prior to arrival, identify 90%+ of bad order railcars within 24 hours, and capture 90%+ of rail interchanges across North America
  • Ocean Shipments: FourKites will notify customers of additions and changes of transshipment ports on 90%+ of applicable shipments, and it will notify customers about vessel arrival at port for 90%+ container shipments within 12 hours. FourKites will also capture 90% of vessel berthing at terminals across all containers.
  • Air Shipments: FourKites will notify customers of the addition/change of intermediate airports on 90%+ of applicable shipments, and it will notify customers about flight arrival at airports for 90% or more of shipments within 24 hours.
  • Multimodal Shipments: FourKites will notify customers of the addition/change of transshipment ports or intermediate airports on 90%+ of applicable shipments. It will also notify customers about vessel arrival at ports for 90%+ container shipments within 24 hours, or flight arrival at airports for 90% or more of shipments within 12 hours. Furthermore, it will capture 90% of inland rail legs of North American imports and exports.

FourKites’ Tracking Quality Guarantee comes on the heels of the company’s Carrier Connect Guarantee™, which ensures connectivity to 90% of a customer’s full-truckload carrier network within 30 days of project kickoff, gives supply chain leaders the confidence to implement new technologies and ensures a rapid time to value. Together with the Tracking Quality Guarantee, this provides customers with assurances of both speed and quality of implementation, and accelerated time to value.

Continue Reading

Air Freight

DB Schenker transports filling line to build up vaccine capacities

Published

on

DB Schenker transports filling line to build up vaccine capacities. Image: DB Schenker
DB Schenker transports filling line to build up vaccine capacities. Image: DB Schenker
Listen to the story (FreightComms AudioPost)

DB Schenker has transported equipment for a vaccine filling line this week on behalf of US-based healthcare company Nexus Pharmaceuticals.

With a total volume of 82 tons, it was necessary to charter an Antonov An-124 aircraft for the flight from Frankfurt-Hahn in Germany to Chicago-Rockford in the US. The transported material comprised of a vaccine filling machine with isolator from the German specialized engineering companies Bausch + Stroebel and Franz Ziel.

Once the production line is operational, it has the capability to produce up to 30 million doses of vaccines per month. The design and fabrication of the machine already began years before the pandemic.

Thorsten Meincke, Member of the Management Board for Air and Ocean Freight at DB Schenker: “With our expertise in intercontinental transports, we want to support the global fight against the pandemic by building up vaccine production capacities where possible. More than ever, logistics truly matters. We are proud to be able to realize short-term air freight solutions for our customers even in times of limited market capacities.”

John Cook, Vice President of Manufacturing Operations of Nexus Pharmaceuticals: “Nexus Pharmaceuticals is keenly aware of the need for an increase in global vaccine production capabilities and as such has aggressively taken steps to address the situation. The filling line and associated isolator represent critical pieces and their arrival is the culmination of Nexus’ commitment to addressing medical needs during the pandemic. Nexus’ investment with DB Schenker’s tremendous support was instrumental in the fast-tracking of the commissioning of our state-of-the-art sterile pharmaceutical manufacturing facility.”

Bausch + Stroebel is a German specialist in machines for pharmaceutical packaging. Ahead of the break-out of the pandemic, the company already started to develop and build the now transported production line for the filling of sterile pharmaceutical products into vials. Franz Ziel created a tailor-made isolator to realize a truly aseptic environment for the processing of sterile pharmaceutical products.

From the two companies’ locations in Ilshofen and Billerbeck, DB Schenker transported the equipment to Frankfurt-Hahn Airport from where an Antonov An-124 charter flight carried 67 tons to Chicago-Rockford. The cargo was split into 20 boxes: The largest container possessed a length of 8.5 meters and 8.3 tons in chargeable weight. As even the Antonov’s capacities were not sufficient, another 15 tons were transported on DB Schenker’s regular weekly scheduled charter flight from Munich to Rockford.

After the arrival of both flights in the US, DB Schenker forwarded the entire cargo to Pleasant Prairie in Wisconsin where Nexus Pharmaceuticals will use the vaccine filling line with its surrounding isolator in a state-of-the-art sterile pharmaceutical manufacturing facility. Depending on the type of vaccine, the machine is capable to produce up to 30 million doses monthly which could help to alleviate production bottlenecks to overcome the pandemic. The vaccines filled by the machine could be distributed both in the US and internationally. Subsequently, the line will be used for filling Nexus Pharmaceutical’s extensive portfolio of specialty and generic injectable products into vials.

An Antonov An-124 has a length of almost 70 meters. With a total shipment volume of 400 cubic meters, DB Schenker’s decision to utilize the four-engined airlift was based on the size of the cargo rather than its weight.

Continue Reading

Popular

Copyright © 2017-18 | FreightComms | Made with ♥ in Singapore