SOURCE: GT Nexus, Inc.

July 21, 2005 08:30 ET

Carmichael International Contracts With GT Nexus for Unified Data Service

Leading Customs Broker Leverages On-Demand Platform, Integration Expertise to Unify Logistics Data Acquisition, Quality Control, Improve Customer Service

ALAMEDA, CA and LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 21, 2005 -- GT Nexus announced today it was selected by Carmichael International Service, one of the largest independent, full-service Customs Brokers and freight forwarders in the U.S., to implement a global "data hub" that will streamline the acquisition, consolidation and delivery of customer shipment information with Carmichael's transportation and logistics partners worldwide.

Under the contract, GT Nexus will provide Web-hosted software and IT management services to collect and unify global transportation and supply chain data from service providers, structure it in a central database to improve accuracy, timeliness and completeness, and then deliver a standardized feed to Carmichael's systems, fortifying the company's existing shipment visibility and customer service applications.

As a Customs Broker and freight forwarder, Carmichael manages on behalf of its customers a large community of constituents participating in global trade -- suppliers, cargo agents, freight consolidators, ocean carriers and truckers. "One of our biggest challenges is the daily battle to chase down information from all these disparate sources and get it organized in a coherent record, so our customers have a reliable and timely view of their cargoes as they move globally," explained Vincent Salvo, president of Carmichael. "Today, this process is very manual and expensive -- and not nearly as accurate as we need it to be."

By leveraging data services from GT Nexus, Salvo expects to see this disjointed activity improve dramatically by using an industry-standard "on-demand" system, replacing manual work with "smart" integration technology, and employing more automated electronic data collection and quality control processes.

"We will get earlier visibility to shipments than we do today, and more complete information, from the bill of lading being issued all the way through key in-transit events," he said. "This will streamline our processes and give us more real-time information. Those are benefits we can pass on to our customers through better service."

Managing globalization, outsourcing, the challenge of unstructured data

"The rapid growth in outsourced manufacturing has triggered a significant increase in cross-border trade," wrote Greg Aimi, research director for AMR Research, in a recent report(1). Aimi continues, "With this new trading environment comes increased regulatory requirements, international financial implications and more complex global logistics. Technology is becoming an important enabler of accuracy, accountability and efficiency in managing these more challenging business processes."

Many different participants handle global cargoes as they proceed from origin to destination. In essence, each participant provides a "chapter" in the ongoing "story" of that cargo move, but it's a chapter that's locked up and isolated with that participant -- in their system, in multiple systems, or in some cases, no system at all. Putting those "chapters" together and making the full "story" readily available to those who need it, on a centralized, integration-friendly platform, is a fundamental industry challenge.

"Our job is to unlock the data and unify it across the participant chain," explained Greg Johnsen, vice president, marketing and sales for GT Nexus, which has deployed private logistics network "portals" for some 30 Fortune 1000 enterprises, and has integrations in place today with hundreds of global trade participants.

"It's also having the capacity to accept and accurately process data in many formats -- from XML and EDI to flat files and web forms," Johnsen added. "We use complex business rules and logic, integration translation engines and monitoring software to build a unified, structured data store that puts all the chapters in order, and fills in the gaps as well. Then we feed accurate, unified supply chain data directly into our customers' internal systems."

Advantages of a unified data service for global logistics

Global logistics is uniquely suited for a unified data acquisition and delivery model, using the Web as the backbone. The platform can drive new levels of data quality and completeness, delivering hard-to-get data to authorized participants across the supply chain; for example, informing a distribution center or a manufacturing line with key data points on inbound shipment status and projected ETAs, which lets these systems operate with more precision. The model as operated by GT Nexus has several benefits:

--  Data can be sent "outbound" into customer and partner legacy systems,
    extending their utility, and improving functionality and value
    
--  Risk is lower and operating expense reduced since software and data
    services are provisioned "on-demand," minimizing costs and customer IT
    support resources
    
--  A Web-centric, open-standards architecture provides flexibility to
    handle any supply chain message or event, in any transport protocol
    
--  Connecting to multiple partners and systems is simplified and more
    efficient since the unified data platform serves as a "one-to-many" message
    integration and processing hub.
    
Participants across the global logistics landscape are starved for standardized data that's clean and accurate, extends across and incorporates multiple partners, is delivered from one source, and is managed effectively day-in and day-out. Concluded AMR Research's Aimi: "As the economy becomes more reliant on global trade, the leading companies are leveraging technology to better manage today's more complex supply chains and regulatory requirements."(1)

(1) AMR Research, March 2005, Global Trade Management --Technology Options for Managing Global Trade.

ABOUT CARMICHAEL INTERNATIONAL SERVICE -- Carmichael International Service (CIS) is a full-service, independent and privately owned Customs Broker and Freight Forwarder with over 44 years of service. With operations in the United States and major global trading centers worldwide, CIS is committed to providing superior service through the knowledge and experience of its professional staff complemented by advanced information technologies and systems. By seamlessly coordinating the flow of goods and information through today's complex trade environment, CIS enables our customers to achieve sustainable value and competitive advantage from efficient global supply chain and trade management operations. For more information about CIS, visit http://www.carmnet.com

ABOUT GT NEXUS -- GT Nexus is the leading provider of hosted, on-demand software and services for global transportation, logistics and supply chain management. Founded in 1998, the company provides integrated software products and IT services, provisioned through a single Web platform, used by enterprises and their partners to control, optimize and manage the flow of goods and information from order to delivery, worldwide. The GT Nexus platform is backed by an industry consortium of leading ocean carriers who transact over the system with some 70 3PLs, hundreds of freight forwarders and over 6,000 importers and exporters to manage and execute international shipping. For more about GT Nexus, visit www.gtnexus.com

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