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Stevenson Logistics

This case study examines the transformative impact of implementing the Inbound Vehicle Booking System (VBS) for Stevenson Logistics, a leading port logistics company operating in Fremantle, WA. The VBS successfully improved operational efficiency, safety, and compliance by reducing truck queues, eliminating futile truck trips, digitizing paperwork and payments, and enabling proactive labour and equipment planning. This case study highlights the challenges faced by the company before implementing the VBS, the strategies employed during the implementation process, and the remarkable outcomes achieved post-implementation.

Background

Established in the 1930’s, Stevenson Logistics has grown to become the oldest and largest independent transport and logistics wharf operator at the Port of Fremantle, WA Stevensons offers a range of services tat include container pack/unpack, bond storage, quaurantine services (including machinery washbay) and FCL container storage and handling.

Port logistics plays a vital role in global trade, connecting supply chains and facilitating the movement of goods. However, inefficient operations can lead to congestion, delays, and increased operational costs.

To address these challenges, Stevensons Logistics recognized the need for an advanced Vehicle Booking System to optimize their operations and control arriving trucks.

Challenges

Before the implementation of the Inbound VBS, Stevenson Logistics faced several challenges:

a. Truck Queues: Long waiting times for truck drivers, leading to congestion at the facility entrance and inefficient use of resources.

b. Futile Truck Trips: Trucks arriving at the facility that were unable to be serviced because of a hold, impediment or other mismatched information resulted in wasted time and resources.

c. A Multi-Function Facility: Stevenson Logistics carries out many different functions at its Fremantle facility, with different pools of labour and equipment for each, and different parts of the facility used for each. This had led in the past to operational problems.

d. Manual Paperwork: Traditional, paper-based documentation caused delays and increased the risk of errors in record-keeping.

e. Manual Payments: The process of identifying, invoicing, paying and confirming ancillary charges such as storage at the facility gates created challenges for drivers, clients and Stevenson Logistics themselves.

f. Reactive Planning: Lack of real-time data and visibility made it challenging to proactively plan labour and equipment usage.

Solution

To address these challenges and streamline their operations, Stevenson Logistics embarked on the implementation of the Inbound Vehicle Booking System. The following strategies were employed during the implementation:

a. Collaborative Approach: The company collaborated closely with Inbound to identify the challenges and ensure that the technology tools provided by Inbound would address each of them.

b. Stakeholder Engagement: Key stakeholders, including clients, transport companies, truck drivers, the port authority and Stevenson Logistics staff were actively kept informed during the implementation. Their inputs were crucial to ensure the system’s practicality and ease of use.

c. Training and Support: Comprehensive training sessions were conducted by Inbound for all users, including truck drivers, dispatchers, and administrative staff, to familiarize them with the new system and address any queries.

d. Gradual Implementation: The Inbound VBS was introduced in stages (one entry lane at a time) to allow for smooth integration with existing processes. This approach minimized disruptions and ensured a seamless transition.

e. Real-time Data Integration: The Inbound VBS was integrated with the company’s existing IT infrastructure and port management systems, enabling real-time data sharing and enhanced visibility.

Results

The successful implementation of the Inbound Vehicle Booking System resulted in significant improvements in efficiency, safety, and compliance for Stevensons Logistics :

a. Reduced Truck Queues: With the Inbound VBS in place, arriving trucks book their arrival slots in advance, eliminating long waiting times at the facility entrance. This has led directly to faster and more reliable truck turnaround times.

b. Eliminated Futile Truck Trips: The Inbound VBS enables Stevenson Logistics to ‘pre-validate’ all arriving vehicles and then advise transport companies intending to pickup or dropoff freight at Stevenson Logistics if a hold or impediment exists well before the truck arrives. As a result, futile trips have been practically eliminated, saving time and additional cost for all parties.

c. Digital Paperwork and Payments: The digitization of documentation and payments streamlined administrative processes, reducing paperwork-related delays and ensured an easier payment process for clients and users.

d. Proactive Labor and Equipment Planning: Real-time data and visibility allowed the company to proactively plan labour and equipment usage, optimizing resource allocation and reducing downtime. This is possible because of known demand.

e. Improved Safety and Compliance: The Inbound VBS helped reinforce safety protocols and compliance measures by ensuring that only authorized and properly equipped trucks gained access to the facility.

Conclusion

The implementation of the Inbound Vehicle Booking System proved to be a game-changer for Stevenson Logistics in Fremantle, Western Australia. By streamlining their operations, the company experienced enhanced efficiency, safety, and compliance. The Inbound VBS’s success can be attributed to a collaborative approach, stakeholder engagement, comprehensive training, and real-time data integration. This case study serves as a testament to the positive impact that technology-driven solutions can have on optimizing port logistics and driving sustainable growth in the maritime industry.

The Inbound VBS has been a revelation for us at Stevenson Logistics. As our business has grown over time, the pressure on our Fremantle facility has grown as well. We’re a business that prodes ourselves on using technology to improve our service, and implementing the Inbound VBS for the multiple functions at our entry gate has enabled us to provide a more efficient service to our clients and carriers, as well as a greater level of planning certainty to our operators. It’s been a great result for us and I’d recommend it to anyone managing a logistics facility.

Jim Stevenson

Managing Director, Stevenson Logistics

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