case studies / Eliminating D&D charges

How Dutch wholesaler Van Den Ban eliminated $300,000 in detention and demurrage charges

Prevented $300,000 in projected annual D&D charges

Saved 100 hours of administrative time

Added four weeks of advanced shipment visibility

Reduced 100% of keying errors

They’re still raving about the time savings and efficiency.

Maarten Sies, Business Information Analyst, IBM

Challenge

Solution

Benefits

Challenge

Van Den Ban, an international tire wholesaler and distributor based in the Netherlands, was buying products from five international manufacturers and distributing to its customer base of global retailers. Like most companies their size, they have a small and very busy back office managing logistics. Sometimes, things fell through the cracks: forgotten containers were racking up detention and demurrage (D&D) of up to $300,000 a year. 

Their processes, which relied on information from shippers and carriers, gave them limited visibility. The team were spending 8 hours a week checking carrier websites for shipment statuses and then keying in the information. The repetitive, manual work predictably led to errors (with consequences that were often unpredictable.) All the data entry hours were a lost opportunity for employees who could have better invested the time in customer care and outreach.

Solution

Seeking technology solutions had served Van Den Ban well in the past when they boosted efficiency in their warehouses through automation. When they decided to improve the efficiency of their container tracking to save costs, they once again looked to the leading edge and joined the TradeLens platform.

Using TradeLens APIs, carrier data fed right into SharePoint and automatically populated the table that the company’s team used to track shipments. Transport events (like container discharged from vessel and terminal gate-out) were updating in real-time, direct from the carriers’ own systems. No manual keying, no errors, and no incomplete information—so no “lost” containers to rack up D&D charges. 

For the back office, there was no training involved; all their processes were the same—except for the ones they didn’t have to do anymore, like check carrier sites or manually enter data. Now when they tapped into the table, they had detailed, real-time data—and visibility into shipments that they’d never had before.

Benefits

Container visibility has eliminated D&D charges
Knowing the real-time status of containers has enabled the team to arrange transport before free time expires and charges incur—for a projected annual savings of $300,000 compared to years past.
The automated entry of shipment data through APIs resulted in zero entry-errors, and over 100 hours of administrative time freed. 
Accurate data entered and accessed effort-free was only the beginning of the benefits.
Van Den Ban increased its view into future shipments from 1 or 2 weeks to 4 weeks, enabling them to schedule drivers, warehouse space, and deliveries more accurately to meet demand. In other words: provide better customer service—and that’s everything to a company like this.

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