With the industry being unpredictable and unforeseen circumstances constantly skewing logistics operations in Sub-Saharan Africa it is extremely important for our clients to have flexibility and visibility in terms of the movement of their cargo. Last-mile delivery is becoming commonplace and the solution to this starts with digitization. Alistair Group’s Digital transformation goes beyond installing GPS-powered tracking systems. We ensure our transportation and logistics networks functions as an ecosystem; gaining access to the visibility needed to optimize routes and shipping processes. Alistair Group is able to identify the fastest routes and most efficient modes of transportation to provide cost-effective rates. This allows us to transition our client’s cargo to the most cost-effective and efficient corridor on a flexible basis.

Working hand-in-hand with our Technology department Alistair Group has recently implemented new technology that allows us to track our client’s cargo on a per-bundle basis. We have visibility of each bundle throughout each stage of transportation. Our technology is moving towards a full blockchain solution with the capability to track the carbon footprint, mine origin, and all transport data in real time.

Here is a quick overview of how our technology works:

  1. Alistair Group has an inbound report which reflects all trucks headed to our warehouse from the different mines. This inbound report reflects the truck details, cargo details as well as estimated date of arrival at our warehouse. Based on this information Alistair Group is able to request the mine packing list and upload all information accurately on our warehouse cargo tracking sheet.
  2. When the truck arrives at the warehouse the cargo is already captured on our warehouse cargo tracking sheet. The Alistair Group tally clerk is then able to capture the balance of the data for the cargo on an in-house developed App which directly transfers all the data captured to our warehouse cargo tracking sheet. Here all relevant cargo is given a unique QR code that identifies that bundle or bag cargo by the date received, accurate weight and pictures of the cargo received.
  3. The client has access to all of this information via their unique client dashboard. Stock reports are also automated to clients a minimum of 3 times a week. Accurately depicting what stock Alistair Group has in our warehouse and what stock is still in transit.
  4. A booking is then allocated to export this cargo to the client in China. Using a Preliminary packing tool on our warehouse cargo tracking database a preliminary packing list is easily created with the tick of a box. This preliminary packing list is sent to the client for approval. An approved BL (Bill of Lading) is obtained.
  5. In the final step of the process, the cargo is identified by an Alistair Group clerk using our App and scanning the QR code assigned to that bundle/bag and packed into the container. This process allows Alistair Group to accurately capture the container and seal details, photograph the packed cargo and present all this information to our clients on a consolidated platform.
    After the cargo has been safely stacked on board the vessel a final packing list, as well as a shipped report, is created. The shipped report is sent to the Alistair Group finance team from which the invoice is raised.

This new system is quick efficient and accurate and certainly takes warehousing to a new dimension in terms of progression.