Tracking all across Europe

From the first to the last mile, a completely visible land transport

“If it wasn’t for Shellock, we would have waited for more than half a day for each update. The stakeholders were surprised we were ahead of the game with reliable and timely updates”

Anders Sandvik, Chief Commercial Officer of KTM Shipping AS

INTRODUCTION

KTM Shipping AS is a logistic company strategically based at the Haugesund cargo terminal, in Husøy. They provide logistic solutions ranging from warehousing, to full loads. Their location by the port and easy access to a good road network, KTM fulfills the transportation needs of companies located in the west coast of Norway and its hinterland. With strategic partnerships in the region like the port terminal, and its own fleet of transports they cover the logistic needs for any type of cargo, independently of whether it is a first mile type of transport, last mile or the whole journey.

NEED

In the region there are a number of companies manufacturing high tech products that must be delivered on time. These range from offshore, oil & gas and maritime equipment, technology solutions, and perishables. Those transports are a critical part of the supply chain that ensures their customers’ inventory has everything they need to proceed with their operations. It is important to dispose of all the equipment in time to complete on schedule the projects and prevent waiting times when there are tools, components or raw materials missing. These goods are sometimes transported in the region, and in many occasions these are exported to the international market via ship, plane or truck depending on its size. The goods must be timely transported and must arrive in good conditions.

PROBLEM

Despite their best efforts, it was still challenging to know exactly where the cargo was while en route, and having a proof of delivery. There was no reliable source of automated updates. Normally, KTM would send manual requests for updates, namely emails and phone calls. This back-and-forth communication exchanges could take anywhere between some hours to a few days. Until the person handling the transport at that moment was located and shared the status, or the general tracking code got updated on a tracking platform which wouldn’t add much details and was always delayed.

 

The lack of visibility required that a lot of effort was devoted to guesswork to cope with the uncertainty of the status of the shipments and trying to guess the time of arrival of the goods to the destination. This was especially challenging to manage when trying to coordinate border crossings and intermodal exchanges with outdated information. Not knowing where the cargo was and in which conditions prevented being proactive managing the handovers and pickup times, a problem that often lead to additional demurrage expenses and delays.

KTM end-to-end tracking across Europe
Comple shipment visibility and traceability across Europe

SOLUTION

An eShell was installed together with the rest of the cargo in the truck trailer. Since the very first mile the eShell kept transmitting regularly the current position and environmental parameters. KTM was 2 clicks away from the actual location of the transport, including during the ferry crossing between Sweden and Germany. For the first time they could ship the goods and then have their own team updated as well as the cargo receiver. Already in the first section of the transport they enjoyed avoiding sending emails and phone calls to know about the status of the delivery. This visibility service was not only nice to have, but it soon proved relevant. 

 

In the last mile of the transport, the truck got stuck after crossing the Turkish border. The receiver of the cargo believed that the transport was detained in customs due to missing some information, so they reached out to KTM inquiring about the issue. At that moment, KTM logged into the Shellock platform and in seconds they identified where was the issue. The truck was past customs and Anders from KTM understood where the problem was lying. He reached out to the truck driver and provided him with the missing information. Soon after the truck resumed its journey.

 

If it wasn’t for Shellock, the team at KTM would have had to call each of the participants in this shipment asking for an update to try to understand where was the issue. This in turn means that these parties would have had to check in their systems and investigate the status if the service, before getting back to KTM with an update and at the same time updating the receiver with the new delayed time of delivery. Likely it would have teken anything between 4h and 2 days. Instead, all that was sorted out in minutes.

CONCLUSION

In 10 seconds they cleared up the situation. Shellock enabled KTM to save 2 days of wait and guesswork. The Shellock visibility solution allowed them to be more effective internally and fulfill the receiver expectations. Because of the proactivity and saved time, the deployment of eShells measured a ROI higher than 100%. This freed up time in everyones’ work schedules, while keeping everyone updated. The team at KTM as well as the receivers were extremely satisfied with the quick and reliable access to information, and specially from being enabled to take action based on informed decisions. At the same time the risk of communication misinterpretations and incurring additional costs like detention and demurrage was minimized.

When this shipment was completed, the eShell was shipped back to the KTM offices. After a couple days the eShell had been delivered at their offices. The eShell had been active for a total of 3 months transmitting location and environmental data. After those 3 months of activity, the eShell returned to their offices having still 84% battery life! Everyone had been informed and the battery lasted reliably during the whole journey. Once they got it back, their eShell was ready to track the next voyage!

Tracking the flights returning the eShell to be reused