Luani Matthÿser | Marketing Coordinator | 01 August 2022
ALISTAIR GROUP PROVIDES VISIBILITY IN AFRICA
A decade ago customers were happy if their shipment arrived in the correct month, in 2022 they want to be a part of their cargo’s progress 24/7, 365 days a year. Today’s business requirements demand to know the exact dates, times and locations of their cargo throughout its journey. This sense of visibility is known to be challenging in Africa due to the lack of physical and electronic infrastructure. These challenges have not hindered Alistair Group’s ability to deliver.
Logistics starts and ends far beyond the point where our client’s cargo is on our trucks. Alistair Group provides visibility of our client’s cargo on a per bundle basis, throughout the supply chain, from supplier to point of final destination. Alistair Group’s systems and technology allow our clients to receive live updates of the status of their cargo at all times. There is visibility throughout the entire cargo journey, which in most instances, is seen to be impossible in Africa. At Alistair Group our clients are our top priority and we focus on making Africa work better!
Continue reading to see a breakdown of how Alistair Group is able to provide this level of visibility.
ALISTAIR GROUP CUSTOMER DASHBOARD
The visibility that Alistair Group provides is all possible due to our Customer Dashboard. Alistair Group has an internal online reporting system. This system allows our client to track the real-time status of every shipment and access different reports such as; Current Movements, Consolidations, Delivered Cargo / Completed Trips, Truck View, Clearance View and Warehousing Status.
These reports are customizable as per the client’s request and are key for our clients to understand the progress of every active shipment. Reports usually include the following information:
- Client’s PO number
- Cargo Status
- Last Update
- Truck details
- Current Location
- Loading date
- Estimated Delivery Date
- Dispatch date
- Trip Number
- PO received Date
- Packing List
- Road Manifest
- Supporting Docs
- Cargo Photos
Our Customer Dashboard is developed internally, making it possible to accommodate any agreed metrics and performance indicators. We are well equipped for Supply Chain Management and have the expertise and Technology in place to ensure we do not miss a detail.
ALISTAIR GROUP CUSTOMER DASHBOARD
Prior to dispatch from origin, details and relevant documentation for any project shipments will be uploaded by suppliers onto a web portal. If large shipment volumes necessitate it, information can be fed directly from any freight forwarders tracking system into the Alistair Group Customer Dashboard through an application program interface (API). While en route to the entry port all incoming shipments are monitored by our tracking team. The tracking team monitors ship AIS data 4-times daily to update stakeholders (clearance team, operations team, and client) of the ship’s current location and estimated arrival time at port. Once goods arrive at the port in Africa (e.g. Mombasa/Dar es Salaam/Durban/Walvis Bay) our tracking, clearance and warehousing teams continue to monitor and update shipments until goods are placed on a truck.
2. CLEARING & FORWARDING
Alistair Group offers the most proficient customs clearance solution in the region. Alistair Group goes beyond the expectations of a service provider, by providing our clients with more visibility of cargo and real-time monitoring from loading to export, and beyond. Our team updates the status of cargo daily. Clients have real-time access to the status of their clearance whether it be “Awaiting Documentation”, “Being Processed,” or “Cleared,”. Additional information is also provided on the Client Dashboard to indicate what steps are being taken to progress to the next clearance stage.
Our own cloud-based Warehouse Management System (WMS) is used to provide a fully integrated multi-location solution, and can easily adapt to our client visibility needs. Our WMS is integrated into our Customer Dashboards and allows the clients to track their cargo on a per-bundle basis – providing visibility into each bundle as it arrives at the warehouse and as soon as it leaves. Read more about how this technology works HERE.
4. TRANSPORT (Track & Trace)
Once goods are placed on our trucks and are ready for transport, tracking becomes fully automated by using our track & trace technology. The Alistair Group’s Track and Trace system is a modern, fully web-based platform with real-time status and location information of goods, personnel, and vehicles. This information is available to each client. Each vehicle is equipped with either a single or dual-SIM GPS tracking unit (depending on region/corridor). This allows for the tracking of every Alistair Group vehicle in any country throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, the AGT system is tracking hundreds of assets in over seven sub-Saharan African countries. The Alistair Group Telematics tracking system provides real-time reports, automatic updates, driver behaviour, exception alerts, and reports that include:
- Journey location/status
- Departure and delivery
- Out of hours driving
- Over speeding
- Driver performance – harsh acceleration, braking, and cornering
- Route Replay
ALISTAIR GROUP GPS TRACKING SYSTEM
5. TRANSPORT (Tracking Team)
In the unlikely event that both hard-wired/magnetic GPS units and the driver’s phone GPS fail the vehicle will still be manually tracked and location updated by the Alistair Group human tracking team. Our team carries out these updates a minimum of four times a day, using phone/radio updates. The tracking team is tasked with continually updating truck/shipment current locations and immediately escalates any driver issues, delays, breakdowns, or accidents to the operations team for resolution. We have found that with a combination of dedicated IT and Tracking teams we are able to provide complete transparency to both our Operations team and clients about the current location and status of all vehicles/shipments. We believe that Alistair Group is the only logistics solution provider with the capability to track a fleet uninterrupted through the entire Sub-Saharan region.
ALISTAIR GROUP TRACK & TRACE TEAM
6. FINAL DESTINATION
Alistair Group ensures that our clients are immediately aware of the status of their cargo once it reaches the final destination. This is possible due to our effective and efficient document management system that ensures proof of delivery/goods received documents are sent to clients. Our document management system has the ability to effectively deliver scans of critical documents from our drivers via their mobile phones. WhatsApp is by far the most popular communication platform our drivers use, and so it was a natural solution to integrate with our system. Leveraging the WhatsApp for Business API, we were able to quickly integrate and start sending a variety of documents directly to our operations teams as attachments such as:
- Purchase Orders
- Goods Received Vouchers