Nov 27, 2020

Global Trade & Logistics: Adapting to Evolving Needs

Logistics
Supply Chain
Procurement
Hrish Thota, Eka Software Solu...
3 min
Global trade managers must adopt new strategies and systems to ensure that supply chain, logistic, and procurement resilience in the trying times ahead.
Eka Software Solutions share their insights into global trade management, exclusively with Supply Chain Digital...

Global trade managers have to deal with the complexities of multiple languages, time zones, currencies, taxes, and modes of transport. There are several laws governing global trade, and these are highly complex and ever-changing. So how do organisations manage these complexities and how can you get a competitive edge?

The Current Scenario

The complexity in global trade management exposes you to a lot of risks. While companies want to make the most profitable trades, it is important to balance counterparty and credit risk. Organisations must review and act on large volumes of regulatory information, which is often published on paper in varying formats and maintained in spreadsheets throughout the organisation. Visibility into the entire trading value chain provides the key to making smarter, more profitable decisions. Raw materials and commodity businesses need accuracy int three key areas: 

Flow of Information

Companies need a complete view of budgeted and actual trade-related P&L across contracts, shipments, invoice, and payments. They need to ensure documents are accurate and comply with business agreements and have a clear appraisal of all order edits, shipment changes and related documentation.

Flow of Goods

Companies need to track shipment and order related activities, manage all information related to the movement of the physical goods, and implement credit checks of all counterparties during contract negotiations, shipment, and invoicing.

Flow of Cash

Good cash flow management is essential to profitable trading. Companies must diligently record the flow of letters of credit from creation to final presentment and record and track loans. They must manage resolution flows among multiple trading partners.

A Comprehensive and Modern Solution

Traditionally, global trading organisations spend most of their time and resources, manually screening shipments and updating them. The solution should ensure that the process is automated, enabling organisations to screen their shipments more often, more efficiently, and more accurately, ensuring the actual shipment status is reported to the required parties. 

In addition, companies should be able to track and trace shipments from origin to destination and boost operational efficiencies. They are aware of delays and deviations and can overcome shipment delays. By comparing costs and charges, companies can determine the best voyage strategies. 

These challenges are difficult to master without a comprehensive solution which is simple but has the capability to manage numerous complex global trade activities and is designed to save time and effort, enabling companies to focus on core work. A modern solution that would streamline the entire lifecycle of the supply chain – automating manual processes would help reduce the cost, time, and risks in quantifiable and auditable ways.

Eka Software Solutions is a global leader in providing digital commodity management solutions driven by cloud, blockchain, machine learning and analytics. 

To talk to Eka experts please write to [email protected] 

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Jun 17, 2021

Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics

Cainiao
Alibaba
Logistics
Tmall618
3 min
Cainiao will focus on the customer experience in Singapore and Malaysia during its Tmall 618 Mid-Year Shopping Festival

As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.

 

Who Is Cainiao? 

According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00. 

 

For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’. 

 

What’s Part of the Upgrade? 

Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments: 

 

  • Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions. 
  • Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture. 
  • Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency. 
  • Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311). 

 

Where is the Company Headed? 

From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’. 

 

Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’. 

 

 

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