Open Harbor Updates ITL Offering

Adds global security service, brokerage solution to international trade logistics offering

Adds global security service, brokerage solution to international trade logistics offering

San Carlos, CA  September 22, 2003  Open Harbor today rolled out two new offerings to bolster its international trade logistics solution, adding a global security service and a global brokerage offering.

The solution provider said that its Global Security and Compliance and Global Brokerage offerings are designed to help multinational corporations address specific business issues, including the higher total costs of goods resulting from fines and trade inefficiencies, miscalculation of total landed costs, conducting business with restricted parties, selling goods to inappropriate parties and long shipment delays due to incorrect documentation.

Since September 2001, companies have faced increasing pressure for vigilant compliance with new government security regulations, according to Mahipal Lunia, director of solutions at Open Harbor. "In the post 9/11 world, compliance is no longer a luxury," Lunia said. "It has become fundamentally core to maintaining your privilege of doing business internationally."

To meet these new security requirements, Open Harbor says its Global Security and Compliance service serves as the foundation for streamlining a corporation's security and compliance process from order receipt to shipment delivery.

Key features of the Global Security and Compliance solution include restricted party screening (screening transaction parties against government restricted party, embargo and sanction lists), product compliance screening (checking products against export and import country rules), global product catalog containing online product classification data, and a real-time customer database with over 8 million rules and regulations of global trade.

The return on investment in Global Security and Compliance, according to Open Harbor, will come in the form of reduced administrative costs, avoidance of costly penalties and fines, the ability to demonstrate due diligence and, perhaps most importantly, the capacity to stay updated and comply with federal security initiatives, such as Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), 24 Hour Rule, Container Security Initiative (CSI) and Fast and Secure Trade (FAST).

With regard to the Global Brokerage offering, Open Harbor points out that historically customers and their brokers have communicated predominantly via phone and paper, which often has resulted in discrepancies, delays and incomplete data. In many cases, customers received no feedback on the results of a transaction. Furthermore, each country has a unique customs clearance process with separate systems creating massive inefficiencies.

Open Harbor says its Global Brokerage solution addresses this "last mile" of global trade and enables corporations to remove these inefficiencies by streamlining interactions between brokers and corporations. Customers can check compliance, classify goods, generate relevant trade documents and file electronically with government agencies. Additionally, brokers are able to clear customs automatically through a country's local customs authority.

The new solution is intended to help corporations eliminate cumbersome paperwork through the automation of manual tasks that will ultimately remove errors and redundancies, increase the speed of global transactions and improve collaboration and communication between the corporation, freight forwarder and transportation provider. The solution ensures that companies have the right set of documents and information to meet local requirements, are following local processes and can file necessary documents with the local government in the local format.

Open Harbor has been working with DHL to use the provider's brokerage offering to build a global brokerage system. The two companies already have built government connections into Malaysia and Ireland in order to test the system, and they plan to roll it out in more than 60 major countries. "Nothing like this has been built before," said Lunia. "This will give DHL and Open Harbor customs clearance capability across 60 nations," Lunia said.

The payoff for companies will be the ability to clear goods through customs more quickly and more predictably, ultimately helping corporations to gain the confidence they need in their global supply chain to reduce their inventories and buffer stocks, Lunia said.

John Marossy, assistant vice president of operations at Open Harbor client Tekelec, a developer of telecommunications solutions, said that the new offerings should help his company deal with some of the challenges presented by international trade in the current environment.

"Growing a business internationally presents many challenges in export compliance," Marossy said. "With multiple facilities and departments interacting to support global requirements, managing compliance with all federal and international rulings becomes increasingly difficult. With the implementation of the Open Harbor global compliance and security solution, we now have the infrastructure to manage all corporate export activity effectively and efficiently with a single tool."

For more information on how companies are using global trade management solutions to increase their supply chain security, see "Building the Secure Supply Chain," the Net Best Thing article in the June/July 2003 issue of iSource Business.

For more information on transportation management systems, see the Global Enabled Supply and Demand Chain Series article on "Fulfillment and Logistics" in the June/July 2003 issue of iSource Business.