Increasing client sophistication and increasing competition is driving the demand for greater flexibility in logistics. Fixed procedures and fixed schedules are no longer good enough to satisfy the client. Increasingly clients ask and get flexible service conditions. The following three scenarios will illustrate today's business reality.


Return Management
Management of returned items is a challenge for Internet based distribution. Quality of management of returns can mean the difference between profit and loss, hence the need for effective management. A state of the art system should give the possibility for a client to ask for agreement to return goods. Also the seller should be able to view this and to authorize or decline the return request. The logistics operator should generate return documents and addressing. All these steps should happen in a fast and convenient manner.
Customs clearance
International distribution is a major concern in e*Commerce. To a large degree it is due to quality and cost of customs clearance operations. Advanced operators clear goods without stopping the logistics flows across borders. For service quality, a logistics operator must be able to inform customs about goods en-route well before physical operations take place. Customs must be able to send a pinpointed request to physically analyze a chosen item. A logistics operator must be able to receive the request and act upon it quickly. A logistics operator must know when goods are returning from customs inspection. This interaction must be fast and reliable, so that the logistics flows do not suffer.
Transport dispatching
Pick up and uplift operations are major areas of cost in logistics, the last mile represents about 60-70% of total logistics cost. Hence the need to manage the process most effectively. The following is a typical dialogue that will take place when a client places a shipment order. A logistics operator must see a request for services immediately and must be able to send a request to a delivery agent. In turn, the delivery agent must be able to confirm acceptance of service and the logistics client must be informed of arrival of goods or services.

How it works

The basis of the system is a set of methods to capture information from participants, a mechanism to maintain a dialogue in a visible and simple form, a mechanism to deliver information to mobile participants in logistics dialogue. The basis is:
  • Data Capture
  • Dashboard
  • Messages

Data capture

WorkTrace allows a Web based capture of information from participants, clients, distributors, customs, operators etc. with customisable screens.


The dashboard shows all alert messsages that interest the user. At a glance one can see issues that may need recovery action. A click on any line links in to the track and trace of the item


As Alert events take place appropriate messages are despatched to appropriate media.