Global Logistics Technologies Inc. (G-Log) and New Meadows Venture Partners recently launched SupplyLinks Inc. – an Internet-based global supply chain network designed to link customers to various transportation modes and service providers through a single platform.
The San Francisco-based SupplyLinks, an application service provider (ASP) powered by G-Log’s Global Command and Control Center logistics software, will target the high-tech, aerospace, heavy equipment, pharmaceutical and health-care industries.
The SupplyLinks portal aims to streamline the supply-chain management system – allowing companies to automate and simplify the buying, transporting and managing of their products by providing access to established carriers all over the world.
SupplyLinks has also created an online marketplace that will enable shippers to calculate and compare costs from various transportation providers, and then carry out transactions accordingly. Buyers can also compare the landed (or total) cost of finished goods, parts and components before choosing a vendor. That total includes insurance, duties, taxes and other customs and clearance fees.
“Buyers will be able to make sourcing decisions based on up-to-date information,” says Eric Chasin, SupplyLinks’ chief technology officer.
Transportation providers can also electronically track shipments and notify customers if there’s a problem in transit, allowing customers to make any necessary changes. “SupplyLinks allows [companies] to figure out the most cost-effective way to move their products,” says chairman and CEO David Beatson. “And carriers can pick up orders they don’t ordinarily have access to.”
One advantage that SupplyLinks may have over its competitors is its ability to calculate the total cost of shipping goods around the world. This is backed up by a recent Bear Stearns report titled “E-gistics: How E-Commerce and the Supply Chain Click,” which says that international trade logistics is the wave of the future in e-commerce.
The complexities of shipping goods purchased online across national borders is a limiting factor for e-commerce, the report said. The report also noted that 85 per cent of online merchants are unable to accommodate international orders because they are unable to get a total landed cost estimate for an international shipment in near real-time.
Freight transport firms and logistics providers without this online capability will be at a distinct disadvantage, the Bear Stearns report claims.
Chasin says that the combination of Beatson’s experience and his relationships with shippers and carriers around the world will help distinguish SupplyLinks from similar ventures. Beatson has been in the transportation and freight forwarding industry for 25 years, and according to Chasin, his worldwide network of contacts will prove invaluable in helping the new company build a client base.
“Dave’s strength is that for the last two years he was the chairman, president and CEO of Circle International, a global freight forwarder, and before that he spent seven years with Emery Worldwide, as vice-president of sales and marketing and then president and CEO,” Chasin says.
Those relationships are very important in the world of logistics, according to Donald Broughton, an analyst at A. G. Edwards & Sons Inc. in St. Louis. Broughton says that because there isn’t much to distinguish one logistics service provider from another, only those that bring pre-existing relationships to the virtual world will survive.
“The logistics exchanges out there have to have alliances with several suppliers and buyers [and transportation carriers],” Broughton said. In the end, he adds, only those players that already have those relationships will survive.
Cutline: The newly launched SupplyLinks application service provider will allow companies “to figure out the most cost-effective way to move their products,” says chairman and CEO David Beatson.
NOTE: THE PICTURE OF DAVID BEATSON WAS COURIERED TO KIM.