In particular, we have gained considerable expertise through our participation in a number of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) projects involving the use of a wide diversity of hardware configurations and transmission systems. If required, we can implement bilateral data-interchange and systems which use individualized data records. However, use of the EDIFACT standard is recommendable under normal operating conditions, since EDIFACT messages are ideal for the transmission of the kind of information required in the forwarding and transport sector. Our IT section is represented on a number of EDI and EDIFACT committees. In addition, we have recently started using the chemical industry’s XML-based CIDX standard.
We already communicate with most of our customers by means of EDI systems. These enable us to optimize transport and port-turnaround procedures, and also the handling of the paperwork required in connection with the processing of orders.
Nowadays, almost all commercial orders executed in ports are transmitted and processed electronically. For this reason, we have links to the various port data-transmission systems currently in use. The data-processing centers in the ports are able to transmit all the data required by terminal operators, shipping companies, shipbrokers, customs offices, port authorities and the harbor police (e.g. in connection with dangerous cargoes).
Shipping lines and ship brokers have for some time now depended on IT equipment for the processing of documents such as bills of lading and express-cargo papers. Each month, we transmit well over 200 B/L instructions to a variety of agents. After a consignment is shipped, at least some of the data records generated in connection with the transaction are transmitted to overseas destinations (to the consignee, agents etc.).
In the air transport sector, the TRAXON network is used by airlines all over the world and is thus a key data-transmission system. TRAXON owes its existence to the influence of IATA, and the association’s ability to impose industry-wide standards. As it is so widely used, we have integrated this convenient data-transfer system in our own airfreight applications.