I Descartes takes over Im­pa­tex to strengthen tech­nol­ogy ser­vices for cus­tomers

Re­cently, global lo­gis­tics tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions provider Descartes Sys­tems has ac­quired the UK’s largest and old­est-es­tab­lished Cus­toms and freight-for­ward­ing soft­ware com­pany Im­pa­tex. The deal is sig­nif­i­cant for the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try. Chris Jones, Ex­ecu

Cargo Talk - - Contents - RATAn KR PAuL

Ac­cord­ing to Jones, tech­nol­ogy is more im­por­tant than ever for the cargo and lo­gis­tics in­dus­try be­cause of the in­creas­ing ex­pec­ta­tions of ship­pers (man­u­fac­tur­ers, re­tail­ers and dis­trib­u­tors) that use them and gov­ern­men­tal reg­u­la­tions. Ship­pers want to have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the sta­tus of their freight in real-time and not just at the ship­ment level, but re­lated to the pur­chase or­ders and quan­ti­ties in each ship­ment. In ad­di­tion, ship­pers are ex­pect­ing more ‘value-added’ ser­vices where lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies are tak­ing a greater re­spon­si­bil­ity man­ag­ing the flow of goods. All of this re­quires lo­gis­tics tech­nol­ogy to pro­vide the vis­i­bil­ity and con­trol that ship­pers are de­mand­ing. From a gov­ern­men­tal reg­u­la­tion per­spec­tive, goods can no longer move around the world with­out elec­tronic clear­ance from the im­port­ing coun­try. Lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies must be con­nected to the gov­ern­men­tal agencies con­trol­ling the cus­toms clear­ance process to ef­fi­ciently move goods for their cus­tomers.

On asked about up­com­ing plans and pro­grammes, “We launched a num­ber of new and en­hanced prod­ucts in 2013, some of which were Ja­pan AFR (im­port se­cu­rity fil­ing) which comes into ef­fect in March 2014; the Descartes Com­mu­nity, a col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­pli­ca­tion con­nect­ing com­pa­nies in the lo­gis­tics ecosys­tem and ac­quired KSD Soft­ware, a leading provider of Scan­di­na­vian and Euro­pean cus­toms fil­ing so­lu­tions and Im­pa­tex, a leading UK cus­toms and for­warder en­ter­prise ap­pli­ca­tions provider,” he said.

To­day, Im­pa­tex pro­vides its iCE ( In­te­grated Cus­toms for Europe) Cus­toms pro­cess­ing sys­tem for high-vol­ume users such as Agility, Ceva, Damco, DHL, DSV, Ex­pe­d­i­tors, Geodis, Hell­mann, Kuehne + Nagel, Panalpina, SDV, UPS and UTI. iCE is pro­gres­sively re­plac­ing its well-es­tab­lished Cus­toms Man­ager pre­de­ces­sor, in use by hun­dreds of freight for­warders, as well as ship­ping lines and ship­pers.

“Im­pa­tex also continues to de­velop its unique, browser-based NetFreight

Specif­i­cally, Descartes Global Lo­gis­tics Net­work can con­nect In­dian lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies to the car­ri­ers, cus­tomers and part­ners they use glob­ally to move goods”

Chris Jones Ex­ec­u­tive Vice-Pres­i­dent Mar­ket­ing and Ser­vices, Descartes

for­ward­ing and Cus­toms sys­tem, de­signed for small to mid-size agents, and bought from its in­ven­tor Ev­geni Pantchev in 2007. NetFreight is now used by over one hun­dred freight agents in the UK, and a grow­ing num­ber in the USA, Europe and the Mid­dle East. Ev­geni will re-join Im­pa­tex un­der its new own­er­ship at the be­gin­ning of the New Year,” he said.

Descartes pro­vides global lo­gis­tics tech­nol­ogy ser­vices for cargo and lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies. These in­clude net­work-based ser­vices to book ship­ments, file-re­lated cus­toms documents and track the progress of those ship­ments on a global ba­sis. Descartes Lo­gis­tics Tech­nol­ogy Plat­form can help In­dian lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies ef­fi­ciently man­age the move­ment of goods for their cus­tomers on a global ba­sis. “Specif­i­cally, Descartes Global Lo­gis­tics Net­work can con­nect In­dian lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies to the car­ri­ers, cus­tomers and part­ners they use glob­ally to move goods. Descartes Global Freight Ex­change ( GF-X) can help In­dian lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies book air freight and Descartes Cus­toms fil­ing so­lu­tions can help In­dian lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies clear goods for en­try into North Amer­i­can, Euro­pean, Ja­pan and other coun­tries,” Jones said.

Descartes be­lieves that the In­dian lo­gis­tic in­dus­try is rapidly evolv­ing to ad­dress the tremen­dous growth that the In­dian econ­omy has been see­ing for the last 20 years. With the ex­pan­sion of the In­dian man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try, Descartes be­lieves that global lo­gis­tics will be­come in­creas­ingly im­por­tant for In­dian lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies.

“At present, Descartes does not have a di­rect pres­ence in In­dia, but can do busi­ness with In­dian lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies on a global ba­sis,” added Jones.

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