Container carrier APL today announced it has developed, and launched globally, software that allows customers with limited or no Internet access to submit bill of lading (BL) instructions electronically.
The product, known as BL Instructions (Desktop), allows customers to create instructions offline in a pre-determined format, and then e-mail them direct to APL. It is particularly efficient and cost effective for those small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which currently fax instructions that have to be re-keyed into the APL system.
BL Instructions (Desktop) was developed in-house in response to customer needs, in this instance, by APL India's IT team. After a successful late 2002 launch there, where many customers have limited or no Internet access, the software is now available in more than 30 countries.
Phillip Chin, APL's Vice President, E-Commerce Products, said, "This product allows customers with limited Internet access to submit BL instructions at anytime with any e-mail system anywhere in the world, and send multiple instructions simultaneously. It also provides them with instant e-mail responses from APL, which reassures the customer that APL has received their instructions, allowing them to focus on other important areas of their business."
BL Instructions (Desktop) has, alongside APL's suite of Web-enabled BL tools, helped customers achieve full compliance with the Advance Manifest component of the Container Security Initiative (CSI), which requires information about goods being shipped to the United States to be lodged with US Customs at least 24 hours before being loaded.
Ted Fordney, APL's Vice President for Marketing, Customer Support & E-commerce, said, "We are actively encouraging customers to file the information for US Customs via our e-commerce channels. It saves customers money as e-filing costs just US$10, whereas there is a US$30 charge for filing by fax, plus it saves us time and the need to re-key data."
APL's innovative approach to e-commerce has been recognized both inside and outside of the cargo transportation industry. Late last year, for example, APL was named top IT innovator at the inaugural Asia Logistics Awards. BtoB magazine named APL one of the top business-to-business (B2B) web sites, for the second time in 2002, and it was named in the top 100 of InformationWeek's Top 500 IT innovators for 2002.
For more information on APL's suite of BL services and solutions visit <http://www.apl.com/html/billsoflading.html>
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For more information
Paul Barrett APL Asia/MEast + 65 6371.5541 firstname.lastname@example.org Scott Dailey APL Americas +1 650 369 4451 email@example.com Michael Haig APL Europe +44 1737 248.300 firstname.lastname@example.org
About APL APL provides customers around the world with container transportation services through a network combining high-quality intermodal operations with state-of-the-art information technology. APL's sister company APL Logistics offers end-to-end supply chain management services enabled by leading information technology. Both companies are subsidiaries of Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), a global transportation and logistics company engaged in shipping and related businesses. Its IT function is managed in Oakland, California.
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