Automation Accelerates Customs Clearance In Logistics

Logistics

About the customer

An international logistics and transportation company that offers road freight services.

the business

The logistics company facilitates the road transportation of goods and commodities between multiple countries. The company supports the shippers and the carriers to submit the customs declaration, when the carrier trucks move through another country (countries), before reaching the destination.

the Challenge

When the shipment truck leaves the country of its origin, a declaration has to be submitted to the customs department of all the countries through which the goods are transported, including the destination country. This declaration submission was done manually, which resulted in the following challenges:

  • The manual declaration submission was time consuming, expensive, and demanded the truck drivers to carry a lot of paper documents along with them.
  • The client was unable to keep track of the following activities in real-time:
    • Status of the goods transported, whether the goods are delivered or not
    • Status of the declaration submitted, whether it’s accepted or rejected by the customs
    • Status of the guarantee deposited to the customs by the guarantor
    • Whether the guarantee has been released back to the guarantor
    • Guarantee amount variations announced by the customs department of each country
  • If the customs department rejects a declaration, there was no provision for the client to amend and resubmit the declaration immediately.
  • If the client cancels a declaration already submitted to the customs, the cancellation status was updated only after a manual validation. This consumed a lot of time, and there was no proper system to keep track of such declarations. This delayed the refunds for the client.
  • Manual tracking of the declarations submitted by multiple clients was tedious.
  • Absence of an advanced feature to generate detailed reports and analyze results.
  • Integrating the client’s application with the customs departments of various countries was a technical challenge. Each country follows separate rules and regulations with respect to declaration submission.
  • Another challenge was the integration of a full-fledged fee management and payment tracking module.

The requirement

  • The key requirement was to fully automate the declaration submission. The client, the customs department, and the guarantor should be able to track the status of the declaration submitted.
  • The client (shippers/ carriers) need to track the status of their goods in transit, in real-time.
  • Provision to incorporate and validate the digital signature of the guarantor.
  • The guarantor should be able to track the status of their guarantee.
  • The client’s application has to be integrated seamlessly with the customs department of multiple countries. This was crucial since the goods transported will have to pass through several countries before reaching the destination.
  • The declaration submitted should be processed in a highly secured, tamper-proof environment.
  • Streamlined and full-fledged payment processing and tracking module, commission distribution module, and guarantee management module.

The Solution

We implemented the following solutions:

Automation of declaration submission: We automated the declaration submission process. The documents are now submitted in a highly secured, digitally signed format, acceptable to the customs department of the respective country through which, the goods are transported. There are provisions to track the approval status of the submitted declaration. The client can also amend and resubmit any rejected guarantee, as well as cancel any submitted guarantee.

Integration with the customs department of multiple countries: The application functions in tandem with the formats followed by the customs departments of multiple countries. The digital signature of the guarantor is integrated and there are provisions to validate the signature. The system automatically calculates the guarantee amount during the declaration submission, by taking the latest commodity codes for each good, updated by the customs department of each country.

Payment management module: This is a full-fledged module that includes the following features:

  • Collecting and processing declaration submission fee from the client
  • Extra fee processing for highly sensitive goods
  • Refunding fee in case of cancellations or rejections
  • Tracking payment and distribution of commission

Guarantee Management module: Processing guarantee deposited by the guarantor, tracking its status automatically, and releasing the guarantee back to the guarantor as soon as the good leaves the country of the guarantor. The guarantor is instantly alerted on the status of the guarantee balance available, and any other credits into their account.

The Benefits

  • Automated declaration submission saves cost and time considerably
  • Great savings with respect to staffing and maintenance expenses
  • Tracking the status of the transported goods became easy
  • Streamlined payment management and commission distribution
  • Integrated credit card as well as pre-payment system
  • Automation of transit duty calculation
  • Effective tracking of the guarantee consumed and released
  • Generation of insightful reports strengthens the overall operations
  • Digital signage reduces the timeframe for validation and approval

Results at a Glance

  • 60%faster document processing, revenue collection & release of goods
  • 100% improved regulatory, procedural transparency & predictability
  • 3xreduction in transaction costs

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