Port of Antwerp e-commerce system uses industry portal as "integration gateway" for Belgian shippers to transact with ocean carriers
Antwerp, Belgium, and Alameda, CA — August 17, 2004 — On demand software and services provider GT Nexus announced today that Seagha, the cargo management system operated by the Port of Antwerp, has joined the GTN Portal to provide integrated electronic shipment transaction services for Belgian shippers, agents and freight forwarders.
One of the world's largest and busiest maritime shipping facilities, the Port of Antwerp is a major international gateway for cargoes moving to and from Belgium and other European Union countries. Seagha is the port's e-commerce group that provides shipping software, connectivity with maritime and customs agencies, information processing services and other communications technology resources for the Port's community of users.
Seagha is the first port community system to adopt the GTN Portal, which is a multi-carrier transaction platform for seafreight management.
"GTN plays an important role for electronic information exchange throughout the maritime industry," explained Dirk Ceulemans, Seagha's sales and marketing manager. "As an integration gateway it provides Seagha with a point of entry and standard message processing across many carriers. This creates a uniform way to transmit bookings, shipping instructions and even to perform track and trace with shipping lines."
Monsanto is an herbicide producer situated on Antwerp's Right Bank, and the company moves 90 percent of its 4,500 shipments annually via Seagha. "It was an excellent decision on the part of Seagha to develop a link with the portals," commented Eddy Duquet, Monsanto's ocean transport specialist. "The system has gone live, and we are very satisfied with it."
Forwarders, shipping agents, terminal operators, cargo owners (direct shippers), shipping companies and logistics service providers all use the Seagha port community system. A typical transaction over the integrated Seagha/GTN network flows as follows:
* The shipper or forwarder creates a shipping instruction or a bill of lading in the Seagha software.
* The Seagha clearing network receives the file, "maps" the data against the message guidelines for the GTN portal and transmits the file into the portal.
* GTN accepts the file, processes it through the GTN integration engine and delivers it directly into the back-office operating system of the shipping line in the format required by that carrier's legacy system.
* The shipping line accepts the file, performs several additional functions and returns confirmation, again over GTN, to the customer.
* Customer accepts the bill of lading and prepares the shipment for tender.
The Seagha link-up represents an important milestone for GTN, noted John Urban, the provider's president. "We are seeing more and more constituents across the global maritime community discovering benefit from the shared technology, on-demand service and broad connectivity that GTN can provide as an industry utility.
"In a sense, our integration with Seagha is a portal-within-a-portal," Urban added. "We each use the other to provide more effective service and information processing for our ultimate customers — cargo owners, forwarders and shipping companies. We see similar opportunities with other port systems around the world as well."