The employees of a European freight forwarder, were overwhelmed by inconsistent, often inaccurate container updates obtained from different carrier and terminal websites or provided by email. They walked a fine line between frustrating customers with too much information and providing the necessary container updates.
What they needed was easy and efficient access to accurate cargo status information. They also needed a way to give customers timely updates without any extraneous information.
Meanwhile, their invoicing practices were not ideal. Inconsistent container visibility prevented the freight forwarder from knowing that there would be demurrage from the ocean carrier that would need to be billed to the customer. As a result, the freight forwarder sometimes received surprise charges at a much later date and would be forced to choose between reinvoicing and irking their customer or eating the overage.
The TradeLens platform enabled the forwarder to develop a smarter and faster system that gives them a customer service advantage. Through a seamless integration of open-standard APIs, they were able to start receiving event data from ocean carriers, terminals, and intermodal operators. The data is received in real time directly from vetted supply chain partners. Employees can now generate container notifications for every customer based on their preferences.
They gained enhanced visibility for these exporters through a new interface that they created leveraging TradeLens’s flexible and scalable technology stack.
The forwarder is now able to make shipping information available to their customers in a digital Bill of Lading, the TradeLens eBL.
Since implementing TradeLens, most services are paid against Bill of Lading release allowing the company to issue invoices faster, and most importantly, reduce errors and omissions.
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