APL Logistics announces new shipping planning platform

ShipmentOptimizer is a global shipment planning platform capable of automatically generating the best shipment plan against three key objectives concurrently

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APL Logistics today launched what it is calling “Simultaneous optimization” – a shipment planning platform that could change the way large freight buyers coordinate their transportation activities.

More importantly, perhaps, it can help keep shippers from opting for air cargo when ocean cargo becomes too slow.

“ShipmentOptimizer creates value by taking complexities out of shipment planning and reducing unnecessary airfreights,” said Raffy Cipriano, APL Logistics’ Vice President for Supply Chain Technology.  “The more complex your supply chain, the greater value the benefits.”

Engineered by APL Logistics, ShipmentOptimizer is a global shipment planning platform capable of automatically generating the best shipment plan against three key objectives concurrently:

*cargoes arriving at final destination on the preferred date;
*maximizing space and load utilisation; and
*minimizing overall transportation costs on a door-to-door basis.
Fresh from a global rollout of ShipmentOptimizer with a sportswear shipper last November, APL Logistics has already begun to deploy the automated planning and decision support platform for two other international apparel shippers.

ShipmentOptimizer integrates a web-based shipment planning and optimization tool with APL Logistics’ supply chain expertise and technology applications.  It uses algorithms specifically designed to handle complex and ever-changing real-world supply chain environments.  Given the shipper’s unique preferences, requirements and constraints, all possible combinations of shipment flows, modes, routes and cargoes are duly considered before the ideal plan is recommended.  The optimal plan is continually updated as assumptions or conditions change, relying on real-time data fed by other applications in APL Logistics’ technology suite.

According to spokesmen, ShipmentOptimizer trimmed shipment planning process of a pilot customer from two days to just 90 minutes.  The process used to take the customer multiple iterations and human intervention.  With the platform, a single, fully automated run was all it needed to arrive at the optimal plan.

In addition to efficiency, ShipmentOptimizer is designed to give the shipper greater control over its product flow.  This is because the platform has the ability to forecast shipment schedules, support collaboration among the shipper’s supply chain partners and automatically flag any deviation from plan.

APL Logistics will introduce ShipmentOptimzer at its corporate booth at the Retail Industry Leaders Association’s Logistics 2012, Dallas, on February 20th and 21st.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at pburnson@peerlessmedia.com.

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