Executive summary Executive summary
Our client is an international shipping company that provides transportation and logistics services to businesses worldwide. The company has been on the market for decades and today operates a global network of shipping routes and logistics centers. Their services include container shipping, cargo transportation, and supply chain management.
The client needed to streamline the process of creating and managing route schedules for vessels, since their existing process required a significant amount of time and manual work.
N-iX has helped the client develop a new solution that automated vessel scheduling, increasing the speed and accuracy of the process. We have also assisted in implementing an effective reporting feature that provides the client with valuable and up-to-date insights about vessel schedules and routes.
Success story in detail
The client used a web module based on Oracle forms to set up and schedule routes for cargo ships. However, the solution was difficult to maintain and customize. It also involved a schedule creation process that required a significant amount of manual work and was both time-consuming and prone to human error. Therefore, the company decided to build a new solution from scratch to streamline the scheduling process.
N-iX has supported the client in developing a web application for route scheduling based on React, Kotlin, and Cloud Foundry. We have also assisted with migrating to Kubernetes to ensure the solution’s scalability and reliability. Our engineers have assisted the client with implementing several key features:
Scheduling management of ship lines and coastal/individual ships
N-iX has helped implement the scheduling management feature for ship lines (routes traveled by a group of vessels within a common schedule). It allows the company’s line coordinators to set up both line schedules and individual schedules for specific vessels.
Also, we assisted in developing the coastal scheduling management feature that allows coastal coordinators to set up the scheduling for vessels that move within the specific geographical zone, for example, Europe, Northern or Southern America, etc. The scheduling management features of the new solution have automated schedule creation, making the process both faster and more accurate.
Management of pro forma scheduling
We helped implement a feature for managing pro formas—templates for scheduling lines and individual vessels. This feature allows the client to automatically generate schedules by indicating the start date and selecting the necessary ports without specifying the vessel. This significantly accelerated the process of creating vessel schedules when the same schedule is applied multiple times (every week, month, etc.).
To monitor line, coastal, and individual scheduling of vessels, together with the client we have implemented an intuitive and highly customizable reporting functionality that allows the user to generate two types of reports:
- Excel reports based on Apache POI, an API that allows developers to create, modify, and display MS Office files.
- PDF reports based on Apache PDFBox, a Java library for working with PDF documents.
Users can set up the required time period for data to be displayed in the report. Depending on the complexity, it can be generated as quickly as 30 seconds.
Finally, we helped the client improve user management to ensure a high level of security. To achieve this, multiple levels of user permissions were implemented. These include System Administrators, Area Coordinators, Business Administrators, and other roles that can change user permissions.
N-iX has assisted the client in implementing a web application for managing the scheduling of vessels. This has allowed the client to improve their business in several ways:
- Eliminated human error and reduced the average time for vessel scheduling from ~ 1 hour to 10 minutes by automating the vessel scheduling process;
- Accelerated schedule creation for similar cases by implementing pro forma scheduling;
- Provided quick and valuable insights on vessel scheduling and routes with the ability to generate reports (both in Excel and PDF formats).