"Working with the Manao Software team has been a great experience, they often came up with lean and creative solutions to business challenges and requirements that we threw at them."
About Cargo World Network Ltd.
Cargo World Network (CWN) is a global network of freight consolidators. Using IT to enable collaboration and integration between the network member companies increases their competitive edge against freight consolidators working in the same market segment. The system provides its customers with a coherent and reliable Less Container Loading (LCL) service through a partnership that extends beyond the daily business, fostering exchange and cooperation to help customers overcome their industrial challenges. Together the network of members covers more than 50 key markets, over 2,000 direct weekly services and are handling more than 5 million CBM annual volumes involving more than 5,000 great individuals employed by the network.
The cargo business, including shipping companies and agents, freight consolidators, freight forwarders, and logistics companies, is a business with shrinking profit margins when one looks at the development over the last decades. Competition is fierce and companies are turning to IT as a way to improve efficiency and stay competitive.
Ruben Huber, former Co-President at CWN explains: “Our key issue was to build a portal that brings together the products of all members, their schedules, transit times, rates, etc. For internal uses but also as a sales and service channel for customers.”
Manao Software developed and successfully delivered a turn-key solution consisting of a responsive web application and mobile apps for iOS and Android.
The Cargo World Network Portal acts as a central hub that provides integration services to the members. It allows each member to integrate their own cargo IT system (e.g. CargoWise One, or Descartes) with the portal through a mapping solution which transforms their XML shipment manifest files to a format that can be imported into the portal for track & trace and reporting purposes.
The XML files exported from a member's cargo system, e.g. CargoWise One, are transmitted to the portal using simple and tried-and-true channels such as FTP or email attachments. This means that this solution covers the needs for all member companies including those that don't have a cargo system that can automatically transmit XML files. These members can still benefit from the integration service by sending manifests as email attachments or transferring files manually using an FTP client program.
Once an integration is set up and running, Manao Software continuously monitors its health and assists the member in case there are any invalid XML files that get rejected.
Manao Software used Agile/Scrum as the main project management methodology during the initial software development. The iterative development gave us the right mix of flexibility to accommodate changing client requirements, while keeping overhead low. After entering the maintenance phase we switched to Kanban because it's better suited for handling ad hoc support tasks with varying levels of urgency and importance.
The CWN Portal is a modern, cloud-based web application running on the ASP.NET platform. Major technologies and frameworks used includes:
- NET MVC 5
- Entity Framework 6
- Command Processor pattern
- REST/JSON web APIs
- Structure Map
- Microsoft SQL Server
- Federated login via Facebook, Google, Microsoft
- Cordova/Phonegap with Ionic
The Cargo World Network Portal offers many benefits, such as
- Track & Trace of Shipments
- Tariff Rates Management
- Sailing Schedules Management
- Single Customer Service Point
- Reporting and Insights
- Collaboration and Communication
- Integration with Business Partners
- Shipment Booking Management
“Manao has been a great facilitator to bring all products together,” comments, Ruben Huber.