Century Distribution Systems Launches Operations with GTN Portal

March 14, 2004
Alameda, Ca. and Richmond, Va. -- March 4, 2004 @ GT Nexus announced today that Century Distribution Systems, Inc., a leading international freight consolidation,

Alameda, Ca. and Richmond, Va. -- March 4, 2004 @ GT Nexus announced today that Century Distribution Systems, Inc., a leading international freight consolidation, warehousing and supply chain management company, has gone into production with the GTN portal, the industry-backed transaction platform for ocean freight management.

With today’s launch, Century becomes the first US-based freight consolidator to implement full XML integration with GTN for real-time processing of ocean shipment documentation (bill of lading instructions).

The web-technology initiative allows Century to leverage GTN portal as a common integration platform and a transaction hub to streamline and automate shipment processing with a network of ocean carriers, explained Jim McCullen, Century’s vice president, information systems.

“We’re replacing cumbersome, manual, one-off processes @ hard copy documents, fax and phone interactions @ with a proven Web transaction system that’s already connected to a broad community of shipping lines,” McCullen said. “Integrating with GTN using advanced XML standards gives us flexibility, reliability and cost savings. It creates competitive advantage. We get real-time processing, standardized across a whole host of carriers, so we can respond faster to our customers and give them better service.”

The initiative is expected to generate a number of benefits for Century, including:

Integration leverage and efficiency. One connection to GTN links Century to many shipping lines worldwide, reducing up front as well as ongoing IT management costs

Data standardization. Bill of lading instructions created in Century’s operating system are processed over GTN using the XML standard, which translates and delivers them automatically into the individual system of the GTN network carrier

Process improvement. Century applies one integration schema and transmission methodology across a community of shipping lines, improving productivity and information accuracy

Cost avoidance. Automated, electronic processing of shipment documents over GTN enables Century to reduce IT and communications costs, and avoid carrier surcharges and fees for manual input of shipping instructions

Rapidly accessible, consolidated information. Century’s customer service and operations personnel can view and manage consolidated information on all shipments with all networked carriers through GTN as a single portal, over the Web.

The integration initiative also allows Century to enhance utilization of its primary operating system @ Enterprise-PCL®. Shipping documents are created once in Century’s system, mapped to the XML standard, sent through GTN’s integration engine, and then moved directly as an electronic feed into the carrier’s back-office system. Data transmission is automated and managed by GT Nexus as the hosted service provider. Re-keying of information and the problems associated with reconciling data in multiple systems are eliminated.

All transactions are recorded in GTN where Century personnel at any office worldwide can access bill of lading data, across multiple carriers, from a central database via a secure web sign-on, then run reports and perform analytics.

“Automating our processes with GTN will prevent service disruptions, and reduce the costs of managing our carrier network,” concluded McCullen. “And by adopting an XML platform for integration and data exchange, we extend our existing technologies and make them perform more effectively for our business and our customers.”

Century operates a global network of 48 offices serving customers in North America, Europe and Asia with high-value consolidation and distribution services. A wholly owned subsidiary of leading Japanese shipping line Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha ("K" Line), Century is part of the “K” Line Total Logistics Group. Century’s primary services are:

* Asia and Europe freight consolidation

* Internet based supply chain management

* U.S. warehousing and distribution

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