An integrated approach to supply chain management – developed and driven by IMPERIAL Logistics group company, Tran-Send Container Logistics, for its client, Toyota South Africa, in conjunction with the forwarder, Bidvest Panalpina Logistics – has provided the motor manufacturer with exceptional visibility along its logistics chain, enabling the company to plan logistics more efficiently and improve its service to its customers.
Shipments dispatched from Toyota Japan and destined for Toyota South Africa are handled by a number of different companies. These include the forwarding agent in Japan, the forwarder in South Africa, the clearing agent in South Africa, and the container logistics company, as well as the air and road transporters involved in the supply chain.
Due to the many parties involved, the whereabouts of containers was not always certain, and the final consignee, Toyota South Africa, was unsure of the exact delivery times of its containers, and was therefore unable to plan effectively and efficiently.
Part of the solution applied by Tran-Send Container Logistics was obtaining a list of containers from source, in order to know what containers were to be shipped, on which vessel, and precisely when they would be dispatched. This was achieved by obtaining an electronic file from Toyota Japan. “The premise was that if we start the journey correctly, we have more chance of finishing it correctly,” states Tran-Send managing director Marius Janssen.
“The data on this file is fed into the Tran-Send database, since we are driving this integrated approach to supply chain management,” he adds. “From this point on we have a reference on which to be able to track – and therefore manage – these container movements. The vessel whereabouts, and therefore the container, can now be tracked as vessel location can be easily established, for example.”
On arrival at the port of discharge, Tran-Send then obtains further information concerning container offloading, stacking and departure from the port, to complete the picture, giving client Toyota the precise location of its containers. “This then triggers container-based hinterland tracking, ensuring updates on the system, in order to maintain constant traceability,” Janssen adds. This information is available, at any given time, through a Web interface, as well as by e-mailed and SMS reports to relevant parties. Further direct retrieval of this tracking information, as well as other clearing-related information, such as bill of entry dates, are obtained through the interface generated in conjunction with the clearing and forwarding agent, Bidvest Panalpina Logistics.
Toyota South Africa, and other parties in the supply chain, are reaping the benefits of this new integrated approach developed by Tran-Send Container Logistics. All parties now have access to real-time data covering every aspect of the supply chain – from origin of shipment, ETA of the vessel, discharge of the container, lodging of clearance documents and movement of the container into and out of the port, right up to final delivery to the client. This transparency and visibility allows all parties to monitor and manage the logistics chain.
Additional benefits for Toyota South Africa include the ability to efficiently plan for the receipt of the container and electronically request full updated information to be incorporated into its own systems. The additional information and enhanced planning is enabling the company to offer its own clients a better service through being able to inform the customer of the future availability of their spare parts and components.
“This outcome proves that co-operation and innovation can provide a solid, effective and stable supply chain solution customised to the needs of all parties concerned,” Janssen concludes.