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