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Shipping Client - Using Technology to Support, Not Replace, A Skilled Role

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If you live anywhere near a working port it’s likely you’ll have seen the hundreds, sometimes thousands, of trailers and containers poised on their journey between origin and destination, parked in close formation or stacked several stories high. These vast trailers are usually 20 or 40ft long and are used to transport all manner of goods around the world – from bananas to teddies, mobile phones to the contents of people’s homes, onesies to garden furniture.

Every container’s route is a series of handoffs between transport providers; road haulage to shipping to local network logistics. Freight service covers the portion of the container’s journey from the departure port to the overseas destination, managing handoffs from the UK road haulage companies, and on to the destination country’s logistics provider.

Container’s movement

The Challenge

The client wanted to be able to speed the process, give multiple users access to information, easily pull up historical records and, ultimately, automate simple booking. Key to the initial deliverable was respecting and acknowledging the vital role skills that the loading officers and stevedores play in container management.

The Approach

Working with partners from the Client’s Programme Team, we focused heavily on UX planning up front, spending time at port observing the Freight Team then developing the first prototype of how the application will work in the discovery phase. We then returned to port several times through the agile development phase to test the prototype with the Freight Team, gain essential feedback and help facilitate the business transition to a new way of working.

The Solution

Amido developed a drag-and-drop tablet-centric app that has been well received by the Freight Team, as well as a new booking portal (freight portal) that will allow business to business customers to make bookings rather than having to contact the back office to make the booking manually. To deliver this we integrated with APIs from the client’s CRM system and put a customer centric UX on top to smooth the customer experience and maximise bookings. The full solution adopted a microservices approach with a React user interface for the Freight Portal and Firebase for the app.

We delivered a product that makes trailer management fully trackable end-to-end, allowing access to reports based on customer data, weights, goods, and provided plenty of scope for future development.

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