Web-based E-Freight centre to streamline shipping industry

The shipping industry may see a loss of tonnage from reductions in paperwork and time savings with a web based e-Freight center.Singapore, Feb 16 - Moving tons of cargo is a time consuming and paperintensive affair.

The shipping industry may see a loss of tonnage from reductions in paper work and time savings with a web based e-Freight center.

Singapore, Feb 16 - Moving tons of cargo is a time consuming and paper intensive affair. But a joint initiative between Singapore Network Services (SNS) and Singapore National Shippers' Council (SNSC) to develop an E-Freight Centre is set to streamline the shipping industry.

The E-Freight Centre will serve as an electronic port of call where shippers can obtain freight and service rates, book cargo space and generate shipping documents. In addition to shipping schedules, real time tracking allows round-the-clock monitoring of shipments.

Besides the reduction in paper work, there is also considerable time savings. The average time taken to obtain a quotation of freight rates and book shipments requires about 25 minutes, while the E-Freight centre expects to have a turnaround time of less than five minutes. With an average of 100 shipping transactions per shipping line done daily, the cumulative costs and time savings can be substantial.

The joint initiative between SNS and SNSC was signed under the auspices of the Trade & Development Board of Singapore (TDB). "I believe that our E-Freight Centre will complement Singapore's vision to be an integrated logistics hub and serves to increase the visibility to the shippers and enhance Singapore's status as an international shipping and logistics hub," said John Lu, chairman of the Singapore National Shippers' Council.

David Chin, deputy CEO Singapore Trade Development Board stressed the imperative for the shipping industry to maintain its competitive edge using IT and e-commerce. "The competitive edge of the new "E" economy will not focus just on physical efficiency and superior infrastructure resources, as these become basic pre-requisites. The differentiating edge will derive from the value-add in the provision of international logistics services in the supply chain," said Mr. Chin.

E-Freight Centre is expected to come online on March 28 with enhancements expected in the second quarter of this year. Users will have to register for access and pay a subscription fee.

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