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Brazil’s ports more efficient thanks to Unisys

LM learned of the development after the company had completed the “Intelligent Cargo” project with Brazil’s Secretariat of Ports
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
September 21, 2011

In an exclusive interview, Unisys Corporation noted that it had reduced supply chain costs by an impressive 62 percent at Brazil’s major ocean cargo gateways.

LM learned of the development after the company had completed the “Intelligent Cargo” project with Brazil’s Secretariat of Ports (SEP).

“This was a unique ‘public-private’ effort that we hope to replicate elsewhere in the world,” said Nishant Pillai, practice director, cargo & port security for Unisys.

In an interview with Supply Management Review – a sister publication – he explained how they developed a study to monitor cargo operations and bring improvements to the import, export and navigation processes at Brazilian maritime ports and logistics chains.

The study recommended improvements that are expected to reduce the amount of time spent on export logistics chain operations by approximately 47 percent, and reduce the logistics chain’s operational costs significantly.

“This was an activity-based cost benefit analysis conducted jointly by SEP and Unisys,” explained Pillai. “And it does not just apply to exports. There is a reverse logistics component here as well.”

As part of the project, Unisys pinpointed several areas of port operations requiring attention. For example, Unisys recommended increased coordination between the organizations responsible for cargo processing and inspection; a decrease in the redundancy and waste associated with paper-based manual processes; more sharing of data, using e-mails and telecommunication between parties involved in the logistics chain; and more efficient use of existing port and logistics chain infrastructure.

“With this information in our hands, the Ports Secretariat will be able to offer more efficiency in terms of procedures and trade in logistics chains, as well as reduce the vulnerability of the logistics operations,” said Luis Claudio Montenegro, director of the Ports Secretariat. “This is the first initiative of its kind in Brazil, bringing together public and private agents to map out the logistics chain process and to help plan a solution to provide more structure and savings.”

Intelligent Cargo is a module of SEP’s “Ports without Paper” initiative, established in 2010 to simplify port procedures; help reduce the amount of time cargo and ships spend in Brazilian ports; improve the sharing of cargo data; and make import and export operations more efficient.

Unisys brought to the initiative years of experience using secure technology such as radio frequency identification (RFID) to monitor, track and secure container devices and electronic seals for cargo shipments.
“The Intelligent Cargo project represents an important step in the standardization of business processes, deployment of on-container tracking devices and sharing of information among stakeholders involved in Brazil’s ports logistics chain,” said Steve Soroka, managing partner, Homeland Security, Unisys Federal Systems.

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 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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