Executive summary Executive summary
Our client is a global shipping company that offers transportation and logistics solutions to businesses worldwide. With a rich history spanning decades, they currently maintain a worldwide network of shipping routes and logistics hubs.
The client needed to improve the process of allocating cargo containers to vessels. Their legacy logistics solution did not provide the needed capabilities to prioritize and distribute cargo effectively. This, in turn, often resulted in ineffective use of resources (expenses, containers, etc.).
N-iX has helped the client enhance their legacy logistics system, which allowed the company to quickly and easily allocate cargo and containers to the right vessels. As a result, the client improved the quality and cost-effectiveness of their logistics services.
Success story in detail
The client was using a legacy logistics solution for allocating cargo containers to vessels. Unfortunately, the existing solution could not fully meet the company’s needs, as it did not have the necessary capabilities to prioritize and distribute resources efficiently and did not provide up-to-date information about the status of vessels and containers. Therefore, the client needed to enhance their container allocation process, which would help them improve the overall quality of logistics services and optimize their cost-efficiency.
N-iX has helped the client build a web service that checks the possibility of transporting cargo containers and ensures the proper allocation of resources. The solution receives requests for cargo transportation and evaluates availability, weight distribution, and balancing of containers to book vessel transportation. It uses the client’s existing desktop platform to obtain, store, and process data. The client's Data Science experts utilize AI and Machine Learning techniques to analyze this data and generate quarterly predictions for cargo demand.
Together with the client, we have implemented several key features for the solution, namely:
- The prioritization system for cargo transportation that can, for instance, adjust priorities to optimize allocation if a vessel has limited capacity but receives additional container requests.
- Integration of the US railway station application that helped facilitate and meet the requirements of transportation within the United States. Previously, the client’s solution only considered marine ports, but cargo transported via trucks to railway stations required a different forecast logic, which could result in additional delays.
- Informative dashboards that provide greater transparency and visibility into the vessel booking process. These segmented dashboards allow users to acquire near real-time information about the status of ships, containers, tracking numbers, bookings, average earnings per client, demand forecasts, etc.
- Email notifications for different categories of users about the availability of cargo space on vessels, cases when the system encounters errors, etc.
Additionally, we assisted the client in integrating with the Kafka message broker to ensure efficient data exchange and smooth communication between various internal services.
Also, we took part in creating and implementing a new UI/UX design to ensure that the new solution is easy to use.
Finally, to enhance code quality and streamline development processes, we have automated unit tests. Previously, unit tests on both the front end and the back end were launched manually, which could result in frequent test failures.
Together with the client, we built an internal web application that leveraged the existing desktop platform as a data source and allowed to process cargo transportation requests. It helped the client in several important ways:
- Ensured effective use of resources and increased the cost-effectiveness of logistics services with a feature for prioritization of cargo transportation requests;
- Improved visibility and transparency for sales teams, management, and other internal users with dashboards that provide near real-time insights about the status of ships, containers, tracking numbers, etc.;
- Expanded logistics services provided for the US market by integrating the application with railway station information within the United States;
- Enhanced user experience by creating and implementing a new intuitive UI/UX design.