Container shipping: Buffard Logistique handles it with DDS Truck

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Buffard Logistique, the third container transport specialist in France, which has been operating at the port of Le Havre since 1967, chose DDS Truck a few years ago to manage flows and the specific requirements of port activities. From quotation to shipping, the solution has become an essential link in its organization.

Transport and supply chain specialist Buffard Logistique is one of the key players of Le Havre’s port area, where the Norman company has been in business since its creation in 1967. While transport was originally its main field of expertise, over the recent years, the company has shown increasing interest in logistics, whose growing importance it has come to appreciate. “We have two core businesses. The first one is sea container haulage. We transport all kinds of products (including hazardous materials) in 20-ft as well as special containers, with our own fleet or by chartering means through the Astre independent network. The second one is logistics” Buffard Logistique’s chairman Marc Benard explains. The company (90 staff) owns 25 tractors, 130 semi-trailers and 3 warehouses in Le Havre’s port area, that is 40.000 sq. m. There, goods are cleared, stored, repackaged, prepared then reforwarded to France or other European countries if they are simply in transit. All the aspects that operating at the port of Le Havre involves are dealt with: financial, since Buffard Logistique stands surety with customs for its clients, and operational. “We’re at the end of the line so we deal with everything that can possibly happen between the moment the boat appears off the coast of Le Havre and the moment goods are actually unloaded from it” Marc BENARD stresses.

A dedicated tool for port haulage and domestic transport
Up until 2005, all these operations are processed almost manually, as sales follow-up. With the support of Le Havre’s Chamber of commerce, the company then decides to use a dedicated computer solution to manage port haulage and domestic transport of containers or consignments. The software must be interfaced with the Port of Le Havre’s main information system. Buffard Logistique finally goes for a product of local company Narval Logistic Software, which DDS Logistics takes over in 2009. “We wanted a product that was flexible, easy to expand” Marc BENARD explains. Buffard Logistique’s other requirements include the possibility to export data to their accounting software as well as statistical functionalities. The aim is to be able to follow up everything from the quotation request until invoicing. A significant effort is put into feeding the databases: “The team completely immersed themselves in our company to pinpoint our needs and requirements”.

Today all commercial and operational actions can be managed with DDS Truck until final invoicing. “This utility lets us create forms for prospective clients upstream, issue quotations that comply with our own standards and send them instantly by e-mail or by fax. It also enables us to add internal or external information on tariffs, contact follow-up, commercial events to the third party form” Marc BENARD explains.
Operation-wise, DDS Truck covers the whole transport business spectrum: tracking of goods, in particular for port haulage, implementation of transport planning. Buffard Logistique uses DDS Logistics’ solution to manage customs documents and issue transport documents such as bills of lading, airway bills and so on. Statistics provide the company with a comprehensive overview of its activities.
All the information is fed to the accounting software to track supplier invoices and pending invoices.
“Basically, the utility is used by nearly everybody in the company: people in sales, operations, accounting and even the QC department where the statistics are used for event management” Marc BENARD adds.

More traceability, more efficiency
The benefits derived from adopting this software solution translate in terms of time, efficiency and productivity. With DDS Truck you’re truly over and done with duplicate entries: because all DDS Truck documentary movements and flows are traced, your employees have access to information that is accurate and can be used as is. Your clients too can track their goods using a web interface that gives them access to their merchandise’s status. Finally, DDS Truck can do a lot for the public image of your company by letting you standardize all the documents that bear its name. Quality throughout.

DDS Truck

Building on the products of company Narval Logistic Software (taken over at the end of 2009), DDS Logistics has developed its first TMS solution for road transport operators. A complement to its current range of software and modules,DDS Truck is an integrated container transport management utility. It processes I/O information from terminals or clients’ sites, making it possible to control all internal operations that flow management involves. DDS Truck is simple, expandable software, it can be interfaced easily and it integrates all the functionalities that file processing requires from the first contact to invoicing.

It handles the following :

  • chartering of containers;
  • chartering by consignments;
  • scheduling; invoicing;
  • transport tracking;
  • issuing of transport orders and charter orders;
  • monitoring of activity, flows, workload but also of files awaiting invoicing…

With this software solution the cost of chartered transport can be optimized using pre-calculation and margin management (best contractor selection).