By Tara Swords
In keeping with its history of being an industry leader, Orient Overseas Container Line Limited (OOCL) established an online service called CargoSmart in 2000. CargoSmart is a portal that integrates with 20 major ocean carriers to provide a single place for shippers and customers to book and track shipments, receive notification of exceptions, communicate key shipping-related information to members of the supply chain, and generally keep cargo on track.
Through CargoSmart, OOCL brings together multiple carriers, including its competitors, for the common benefit of all involved—but especially for end customers. Such an initiative is not only good business; it’s also a practical necessity.
“In our industry, customers normally would not use one single ocean carrier. They normally would use three to four,” explains OOCL CIO Steve Siu. “This is customer driven. CargoSmart is really pushing to serve the customers themselves.”
CargoSmart operates on Oracle technology and relies on agreed-upon ways of describing data to promote collaboration among competitors to the benefit of their shared customers. CargoSmart uses Oracle Database, Oracle Fusion Middleware, and Oracle Coherence to create a common platform for receiving those descriptions from across the shipping industry.
CargoSmart takes some of the pain out of logistics management for shipping customers. Even when a shipment travels via three or four carriers, customers can use a single service to understand everything about their shipment, end to end. They have two platform options: use the online portal, or integrate with CargoSmart to deliver shipment data directly to their back-end systems.
Either way, CargoSmart saves customers the cost of hardware and software and serves as an example of how the smart use of technology—OOCL’s trademark—can transform the customer experience for the better.
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