case studies / EXPEDITING THE COFFEE TRADE

How NKG, a European coffee importer is building a visible supply chain from inland Brazil

8 new origin inland container events tracked

3 supply chain partners published events for the first time

24,000 container events recorded per year

Inland Brazil is where it all starts. If there is a problem with a truck or an accident or a landslide, it impacts the supply chain. TradeLens helps us understand those impacts. That’s why you are so important to us.

General Manager, NKG

Challenge

Solution

Benefits

Challenge

NKG, a European coffee importer was looking to streamline their complex blend of service providers, improve cargo visibility in remote inland locations and expedite the pace of their trade documents.

They maintained excellent relationships with their partners up and down the supply chain—from growers to truckers and customs brokers. But delays were frequent. Political instability, strikes and landslides were a recurrent risk. Blanked sailings at remote ports led to delays at transshipment ports. Information from inland service providers was hard to come by and arrived by email, if at all. With so many remote suppliers and service providers, it was impossible for the coffee importer to consistently know the where and when of their containers. Then, COVID closed offices, disrupted processes, and even made paper Bills of Lading impractical.

Solution

When they encountered the cloud-based, blockchain-enabled TradeLens, they knew it was the solution they’d been waiting for.

NKG was able to bring their supply chain partners (including carriers, truckers, terminals and exporters) onto TradeLens. Accurate, timely transport events are now shared directly by each partner.

Collectively, they publish eight event types in real time: gate out empty, empty arrival at production site, container stuffed, packed transport equipment sealed, loaded on truck, discharged from truck, gate in full and discharged from truck.

TradeLens Shipment Manager gives the importer one place to check the status of containers — 700 on average for Brazilian operations — in real-time. Permissioned partners, like exporters and truckers, can also access event data.

Document publishing also facilitated a smooth transition during the pandemic. TradeLens enabled ecosystem partners to switch from original BLs to digital seaway bills shared safely and instantaneously over the platform.

Benefits

Through TradeLens, NKG has gained visibility into inland activities for its Brazilian operations for the first time in its long history in the region.
It’s estimated that 24,000 events will be published at this location over a year.
Events for  3,000 containers were processed through the platform and consolidated into one view on TradeLens.
New, end-to-end visibility is improving communication for every ecosystem partner as they receive event data that helps them to coordinate efforts, mitigate risks and quickly replan after delays.
As a result of easy implementation of the platform and onboarding of supply chain partners, the coffee importer moved 15% of their total import business to the TradeLens platform within a year.
TradeLens’ secure document publishing enabled digital seaway bills to replace original BLs without exposing the importer to security risks inherent in sending PDFs by email.
In addition to helping the importer break the paper barrier for the first time in its 97-year history, TradeLens also saved them international courier fees for up to 50 shipments a month.

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