Freight Forwarders Integrate Pick-up, Delivery Operations With Local Carriers

Connections over Descartes' Global Logistics Network to enable door-to-door services for logistics services providers

Waterloo, Ontario — November 9, 2005 — The Descartes Systems Group Inc., a provider of on-demand delivery management solutions and services for transportation, logistics, manufacturing, retail and distribution enterprises, announced that freight forwarders headquartered in Japan, Germany and Switzerland have selected Descartes for a new initiative to create a network of local carriers on Descartes' Global Logistics Network (GLN).

Descartes said the initiative is designed to help logistics services providers (LSPs) manage their operations with dray-haulers, cartage agents, and pick-up and delivery agents to offer integrated and transparent door-to-door services by exchanging logistics information through the GLN.

An Industry-wide Challenge

Descartes explained that a lack of business process standardization and connectivity between LSPs and the local carriers responsible for the first- and last-mile of delivery has hampered the ability of LSPs to provide their customers with high quality door-to-door service.

Without a standardized business process and straightforward way to exchange information with the numerous local carriers, and without using a network-based solution to process and leverage that information, Descartes said proof-of-delivery cycles are elongated, carrier assignments are less than optimal, and invoice settlement is manual and error-prone. The result is LSPs relying on incremental internal resources to manage their mass of local carriers, losing load consolidation opportunities and having extended billing cycles.

In addition, since local carriers often lack access or a method to promptly communicate proof-of-delivery information to all of the LSPs in the area the local carrier serves, they feel the pain of extended payment cycles until delivery can be confirmed.

Finding a Solution

Descartes said it created Descartes Local Haulage Service at the request of LSPs to address their local carrier management needs. Descartes' Global Logistics Network, a network with more than 1,400 North American truck carriers already connected, has established procedures to help minimize the effort needed to connect additional local carriers for LSPs.

According to Descartes, the GLN provides connectivity with local carriers via multiple methods — from "scan on/scan off" mobile devices, to electronic document interchange, to Web forms that can integrate local carriers regardless of their level of technological sophistication.

The provider said that with access to local carriers in numerous ways, LSPs can take advantage of Descartes' Local Haulage service to optimize loads, automate pick-up and delivery assignment, and streamline proof-of-delivery and invoice settlement with their local carriers.

Edward Ryan, Descartes' general manager, Global Logistics Network, commented, "Descartes has been providing air carrier messaging services to LSPs for more that 10 years. It's natural for us to also extend connections to local trucking companies who perform the first- and last-mile of delivery, so that LSPs can deliver door-to-door service to their customers."

Freight Forwarders Select Descartes

Kintetsu World Express (USA) Inc. is one of the freight forwarders that have selected Descartes' Global Logistics Network to connect to local trucking companies.

"Achieving greater connectivity with our local carrier partners is critical to our ability to provide high quality service to our customers in a cost-effective way," said James Kagawa, vice president, IT Department, Kintetsu World Express (USA) Inc. "Descartes is at the forefront of providing companies like Kintetsu with not only the network of local carriers, but the services to streamline the booking, proof-of-delivery and settlement processes."

In addition, Descartes announced on November 2, 2005 that Schenker, Inc., an international air and ocean freight forwarding, customs brokerage and logistics services provider based in Germany, has signed a multi-year agreement for Descartes' Local Haulage solution.

"I'm very excited about the pace at which this initiative is being embraced by the market as a standard for connecting LSPs and local carriers," said Arthur Mesher, CEO of Descartes. "There is an opportunity for local carriers to increase their market reach with access to the business of a wider number of LSPs operating in their area."

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