Simon Headley, General Manager – Commercial & Digital Solutions at Mondiale VGL, discusses the use of project44’s advanced supply chain visibility platform – and the value it brings to the freight giant.
Freight companies in the Asia Pacific region, VISA Global Logistics Pty Ltd and Mondiale Freight Services Limited announced their agreement to merge into a single significant entity – Mondiale VGL – setting sail anew as a world leader in international transport and logistics.
Indeed, as of this writing, Mondiale VGL handles more than 500,000 containers and 25 million kilograms of air freight per freight per annum. With more than 1500 employees globally – Mondiale VGL covers all aspects of freight forwarding, customs, wharf transport, and warehousing.
Simon Headley, General Manager – Commercial & Digital Solutions at Mondiale VGL says that 18 months into the merger, things have come together seamlessly.
“The beauty of our unification is that it was a true 50-50 merger, rather than one party absorbing another,” Simon says. “This was a true meeting of equals and a coming together of giants. Mondiale had long been a New Zealand powerhouse, and VISA Global had long been a dominant presence in Australia, so it was a great opportunity for both sides to come together. It’s been a positive merger for the staff – and as a combined entity we can deliver even better results for our Australian and New Zealand customers.”
Simon notes that while the bread and butter of Mondiale VGL is international freight forwarding – with an emphasis on import freight – the company is rapidly expanding into new territory.
“In terms of our offering, we are a proven and mature, technology-enabled supply chain service provider. Our breadth and our flexibility sets Mondiale VGL apart in the ANZ market,” he says. “We have a number of in-house service pillars including an extensive transport fleet, our own yard, intermodal and fumigation services, a national warehousing offering, and a valuable cargo division specialising in high value, high security product – just to name a few. There are many more other unique offerings being forged that will cement our position as a true source-to-shelf service provider”
Simon says Mondiale VGL relies on its digital suite and digital solutions, including a propriety owned software platform it offers to customers, which serves as both an operating system for Mondiale VGL and a hub visibility system for its customers. “We’re increasingly geared to be a one stop shop for our customers.”
Mondiale VGL is a major early customer for project44 as the leading supply chain visibility provider expands its presence in Australia and New Zealand.
“For Mondiale VGL, project44 Ocean Visibility is vital to our operation,” Simon says. “Our customers expect visibility. They want to know where their cargo is at any time without having to ask.”
With global ocean freight experiencing a very turbulent period, the real-time data and transparency enabled by project44 Ocean Visibility is a boon.
“We can count on Ocean Visibility for direct data feeds that are live and complete. Information can be made available instantly to our customers,” Simon notes. “project44 integrates data from all the major providers – shipping lines, stevedores, terminals, and so forth – and cleans and presents that data in a standard language that is instantly accessible when we need it.
“In an automated way and at a container level, Mondiale VGL subscribes to project44 Ocean Visibility, which then feeds us key milestones at various points along the journey. When we ping project44 Ocean Visibility they send us the most recent update for a particular sailing – which is critical for us.”
NO MORE REPETITIVE, GRANULAR CHECKING
Using project44 Ocean Visibility eliminates the need for the Mondiale VGL team to undertake repetitive and granular checking of ship and container status.
“project44 Ocean Visibility does our homework for us without us having to ask,” Simon says. “Assume for a moment that we didn’t have access to this technology: our operations teams would be scrambling, looking at different sources trying to find out what is going on with vessels, ports and containers. Not only is this impractical given the amount of volume we move, the information is not always made available when we need it, nor is it very consistent; a shipping line for example might give us one answer on the telephone and have different information published on their website.”
With project44 Ocean Visibility, he says, such information is integrated, properly vetted, and readily available.
“We need to operate in an environment where we neither take nor place unnecessary phone calls or emails. Ocean Visibility is low touch, providing information that is accurate and instantly available to us and to our customers exactly when it’s needed.”
INFORMATION ACCESSIBLE AT CUSTOMERS’ FINGERTIPS
Having the information ready and delivered straight to the customer means those customers don’t have to make unnecessary ‘check calls’ to Mondiale VGL asking for updates on their shipments.
“Customers have access to the information project44 provide through our portal and we’ve designed this in such a way so that the information is effectively live day or night,” Simon notes. “One unique feature about the system we have – utilising project44 data – is that our customers use the same environment that we use operationally; so transparently our customers see what we see. The information is at their fingertips.”
ENHANCED FREIGHT MANAGEMENT
Simon adds that project44’s enhanced real-time ocean tracking and schedule data is a great boost to Mondiale VGL’s OneTrack freight management platform – resulting in milestone completeness improvement of from 50-70 per cent to higher than 90 per cent.
“Having the live information from project44 Ocean Visibility is the key here,” he says. “We are provided current and accurate data at the time of request, that information is fed into our proprietary OneTrack system, which is in turn made instantly visible to our clients and principal base. In many cases we interface vessel information directly into our customers systems – making their lives even easier.”
“Neither we nor our customers want to be surprised by an event. For us, no news is good news and project44 brings us much closer to delivering on that as an operating methodology.”
RESPONDING PROACTIVELY TO SHIPPING DISRUPTIONS
Exception management and predictive analytics – that is to say, managing unexpected variations to shipping journeys – is much easier when accurate and comprehensive data is available in real time. It means Mondiale VGL and its customers can respond proactively to disruptions, rather than playing catch-up.
“Say something was supposed to arrive into port on 10 June but we find out, all of a sudden, it’s now coming in on the 20 June,” Simon begins. “With Ocean Visibility we are notified of that change through a feed from project44. We have workflows built within our OneTrack system to alert us to significant variations, allowing us to react instantly to those changes.
“This might entail calling a customer and saying, ‘We need to bring you up to speed on a significant change.’ Or we might need to divert or redirect those movements given the information Ocean Visibility has sent us.
“It enables us to be proactive with our clients, and for them to be proactive as well. We’re not working in the dark.”
ENABLING MONDIALE VGL’S TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP
With the addition of new data flows project44’s ‘Port Intel’ solution – which maps delays and congestion at ports around the globe in real time – Simon says that Mondiale VGL aims to build an online visual suite where customers can see vessels travel and help them make the commercial decisions that best suit them.
“Our vision is to use our OneTrack system and the data from project44 to build a comprehensive and unique visual tracking system for our customers,” Simon says. “Basically, our technology roadmap involves us taking the great live information we can provide now, but making it visual, such that a customer can see a ship icon on a map and immediately see where it is on the globe, the vessel operator, how fast it is travelling, its size, how many containers it’s carrying, details about its emissions, and what’s happening at the relevant ports that it touches. This would provide an added layer of comfort to our customers and enable them to more easily make better business decisions for their unique circumstances.
“It’s a prospect we’re very excited about
For more information on project44, click here.