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Openness in a new COVID world

C.H. Robinson’s Container Prioritisation Tool is the latest technology the logistics provider has rolled out for its customers, providing them with greater transparency into their supply chain – a tool that has been invaluable for those who have experienced delays due to the pandemic.

The Container Prioritisation Tool allows customers to optimise their container delivery by identifying any inefficiencies within their international and coastal transit and warehousing of goods. An insight that empowers its customers with the information required to streamline their supply chains and reduce unwanted costs.

Since introducing the technology in 2019, it has been used by a number of both large and small customers particularly in the food and beverage sector to have a clearer visibility of where their goods are located and reduce damages that could occur during road or rail transportation.

C.H. Robinson’s Vice-President for the Oceania region, Andrew Coldrey says; “As Australian companies face unexpected consumer demands and capacity challenges during COVID-19, we’ve seen our customers rely on our technology more than ever.

“Our Container Prioritisation Tool makes it easier for customers to monitor, understand and manage their supply chain. “The technology facilitates supply chain visibility, enabling customers to make decisions regarding labour management and identify areas to improve efficiency,” Andrew says. C.H. Robinson’s commitment to a solution focussed business that adapts its IT offerings to support customers has remained steadfast throughout COVID-19. Having region-specific IT support allowed C.H. Robinson to identify a cargo visibility gap for Victorian customers when they entered stage 4 lockdown. Container Vision is a product created from the Container Prioritisation Tool, enabling all Victorian customers to track their containers via its sku to determine its exact location and plan accordingly.

The logistical solution for AJ Baker & Sons
Family-owned refrigeration business, AJ Baker & Sons is just one of C.H. Robinson’s customers who have benefited from the effective technology. After experiencing a lack of consistency and visibility from multiple logistics providers, AJ Baker & Sons chose C.H. Robinson to offer clear shipment tracking and communication that would allow for more positive customer experiences. Through close collaboration, a long-term supply chain road map and ongoing improvements, C.H. Robinson were able to help AJ Baker & Sons meet their supply chain goals.

“With business all over Australia, we need to know where every shipment is all the time,” explained Amanda Kaur, Imports Coordinator at AJ Baker & Sons. “While our previous logistics providers suited our needs for many years, by 2017, we had realised those relationships were no longer offering everything our company needed for success.” The logistics team at AJ Baker & Sons recognised the time had come to change their transportation strategy.

The situation
“When we first started looking for a new process, we had several goals in mind, including improve transit times, better visibility across the board, more effective container management tools, consistent pricing and the ability to accurately forecast deliveries,” Amanda says. AJ Baker & Sons researched many logistics providers with their priorities in mind. Representatives from C.H. Robinson were the first to truly feel like an extension of the AJ Baker & Sons team. According to Amanda, “Shaun at C.H. Robinson listened to us. He focused on our priorities and goals rather than pushing his own agenda.”

Choosing C.H. Robinson’s global network
Ultimately, the team chose C.H. Robinson to lead their logistics transformation due to the combination of people like business development manager, Shaun Ennis and the extensive global suite of services offered at C.H. Robinson. “When I started to work with AJ Baker & Sons, it quickly became apparent they needed a global logistics provider that could offer consistency, service and visibility across their supply chain,” stated Shaun. “I knew after just a few conversations that our ability to offer deep expertise would help them reach their goals.”

The road map to success

With their list of goals, AJ Baker & Sons worked with their team at C.H. Robinson to hone a personalised road map for the entire supply chain process. This included separate goals for each warehouse and division of the company to implement over time. C.H. Robinson’s experience working with the largest, most sophisticated shippers in the world helped AJ Baker & Sons eliminate many supply chain unknowns—including communication and visibility.

Embracing visibility and new ways of communicating
With C.H. Robinson’s technology, not only could AJ Baker & Sons monitor every single shipment from pickup to destination, their customers could also access the online tool to track their orders directly. Using technology built by and for supply chain experts led to a new level of visibility that reduced administration time, kept customers informed and offered a positive experience for customers that wanted to feel included in the shipping process.

“As the company’s Imports Coordinator, it’s my job to order all overseas sourced products for the business, including customs inquiries, payments and invoices,” Amanda says. “Our newfound visibility to shipments with C.H. Robinson was a game changer. Their online tracking system is easy to use while offering more detailed and accurate reporting than we previously had access to, which makes it easier to make smart business decisions. It’s been a positive change for my team and our customer relations as well.”

Outcome
Choosing C.H. Robinson as their logistics provider has helped AJ Baker & Sons achieve many of their initial goals and create processes to achieve the rest. By working together with C.H. Robinson, AJ Baker & Sons has successfully improved their communication and visibility, applied proactive order tracking and forecasting technology to their strategy and improved their overall service to customers.

The plan for continued transparency
C.H. Robinson and AJ Baker & Sons will continue to focus on achieving all the changes set out in the logistics road map. Through collaboration and innovation, they hope to develop an even greater level of customer service and expand their offerings to new markets.

“Before we started working with C.H. Robinson, we recognised we needed a logistics change. But until we sat down with them, I don’t think any of us realised how much we could possibly improve,” explained Amanda. “Looking forward, I see endless possibilities for our logistics strategy and know that C.H. Robinson is just the logistics provider to help us with it.”

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