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NZ Importers Benefit From Paperless System

22 October 2000

New Zealand Importers Benefit From Introduction Of First Truly Complete Paperless System

In what's believed to be a first for New Zealand, importers now have the advantage of a complete end-to-end paperless import documentation system following the introduction of new electronic processes by CMA CGM Owens Shipping Limited.

CMA CGM Owens Trade Manager Damian Milicich says he believes the development is unique in the New Zealand market and sets a new quality benchmark for processes the company is delivering to importers.

"It's very exciting and we expect to have significant upside for both New Zealand importers and ourselves," says Mr Milicich.

The catalyst for the project was provided by the proactive attitude towards paperless cargo releases introduced by Axis Intermodal, Ports of Auckland's specialist container-handling division.

"While this was perceived to be of advantage to our customers, we felt we could go even further and produce a system that was truly paperless from end to end and which incorporated automatic notifications.

"We wanted a system that provided even greater benefits for all parties in the logistics chain,'' says Mr Milicich.

CMA CGM operates an eight-vessel round the world container service from Europe and East Coast USA to New Zealand, returning to Europe via Australia, South East Asia and the Mediterranean. It is represented in New Zealand by CMA CGM Owens Shipping Ltd, a subsidiary of Seatrans New Zealand Ltd and a member of the Owens Global Logistics group.

Mr Milicich says CMA CGM Owens Shipping started with a vision of what it wanted the system to do in an "ideal world."

"The final product closely matches and in some areas surpasses that vision."

Seatrans information Systems Manager Mark Hales designed and wrote the new system.

"Initially we were looking for an easier way of updating Axis intermodal's web site with container releases, and a better way of getting release numbers to our customers. Axis refers to their system as "paperless imports" but our system was still full of paper-based transactions".

"When we examined the process in detail we found that by eliminating the paper completely, we could save ourselves time and provide a much better service to our customers," says Mark Hales.

"Previously an import manifest was received by EDI and from this data arrival notifications and invoices were printed and posted. A delivery order was issued after payment of invoice. Often the cheque was brought in by courier who then had to take the delivery order back to the customer to give to the transport company who could then collect his goods from the port".

"In the new system, after receival of EDI, the arrival notifications and invoices are sent out by email. This saves up to two days from the process. Upon receipt of payment the customer is issued with a release document (replacing the old delivery order) which can be sent by email to eliminate the return trip if a courier is involved".

"At the same time details of the shipment including container numbers, return depots and the PIN number on the release are sent to the port by EDI and automatically update their web site. Return depots can also be notified by EDI," says Mark Hales.

"The advantages are particularly noticeable on short hauls, such as on trans-Tasman traffic.

"It's a win-win situation for all concerned," says Mark Hales.

The only similarity with CMA CGM Owens' previous system is the manifest data received from CMA CGM's worldwide network of offices and the translation into their inhouse system.

"The multiplicity of tasks that we have managed to include without adding to our overall labour hours has been quite staggering. The immediate feedback from most customers during our trial period was amazement at the speed of the information and the simplicity of transaction" says Milicich.

This system combines with CMA CGM's website ( to provide customers with an up-to-the-minute status of their shipment.


For more information please contact:

Damian Milicich CMA CGM Owens Trade Manager 64 9 300 5871 Mobile 025 914 692

Mark Hales IS Manager Seatrans NZ Ltd Phone 64 4 498 3750 025 593 858

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