Visibility the key driver for ACFS Connect

ACFS Port Logistics (“ACFS”) has a long-standing history of innovating in the area of container logistics since its humble beginnings in 2005. Over the years it has transitioned from being an on-port container transport business to a multi-model operator that services Australia’s largest importers and exporters via road and rail through it’s on and off port sites integrated with empty container parks. Having successfully grown its 3PL and e-commerce operation, its end to end presence in freight management has made it a necessary partner for Australia’s logistics infrastructure.

Innovation being at the heart of every initiative ACFS undertakes, it’s MD and CEO – Arthur Tzaneros, identified that the industry had not capitalised on the use of data and technology to drive efficiencies in the supply chain. Poor visibility for freight owners on simple matters such as “where is my container” or “when can it be delivered” was resulting in increased costs of container transport, let alone detention being a major cause of concern globally. Businesses like Uber had disrupted the taxi industry globally, by simply providing live visibility and a simple interface to interact with your Driver. Arthur announced in mid 2020 on an ACFS Podcast that “the lack of innovation in the technology arena was hurting the industry, and that ACFS was undertaking a significant investment to make the supply chain more agile and efficient”.

ACFS in conjunction with several transformation partners embarked on roadmap to digitally transform the Logistics business with an emphasis on providing a world class, real time customer experience. The technology strategy is underpinned by 3 key focus points. An improved UI for customers, enhanced integrations between client and internal systems and a developing data strategy which will result in more trustworthy data, but more importantly for the future better insights for the industry and its customers. Cyber security is always front of mind at ACFS, therefore the design of the new system also focussed on security segregation of customer data, security by design and other protections to ensure good faith in ACFS’s ability to deliver next gen tech securely.

The product is known as ACFS Connect, born from Arthur’s vision for the future embodies ACFS’s years of experience in container transport and significant customer feedback. As part of the initial release, some key enhancements customers will appreciate (to name a few) are:

  • Live visibility of their containers and contents
  • Real time notifications when issues may arise such as container risking wharf storage, delivery delays etc;
  • Faster acceptance of Delivery bookings;
  • Detention tool tailored to your contract to identify containers nearing or in detention and associated costs;
  • Customisable reporting capability; and
  • Seamless integrations with client internal operating systems.

ACFS Connect’s multi-faceted approach considers the needs of the importer, exporter, warehouse, 3PL or freight forwarder. The in-built privacy and security settings ensure only relevant container data is visible to each customer

ACFS chairman Terry Tzaneros
ACFS chairman Terry Tzaneros. Photo: Ian Ackerman

ACFS are working towards launching this to the market in coming weeks, with a dedicated Customer on-boarding team to ensure all customers are well trained on ACFS Connect and continue to receive exceptional support via a dedicated customer care team. Connects enhanced offering provides more information to manage containers simply at the click of a button, Connect will provide a smoother customer experience which will drive efficiencies within its logistics business, more importantly to the supply chain, both vendors and clientele.

The team at ACFS believe Connect is the initial stepping stone in providing a robust foundation on which to continue to grow and innovate for the future by continuing to create building blocks in the form of more artificial intelligence, analytics, automation and robotics. Which, in turn will increase economic and social prosperity. Kudos to the ACFS team for undertaking such a ground- breaking investment, traditionally uncommon in the logistics industry. Demonstrating that innovation to enhance the customer experience is at the cornerstone of the company’s vision.

Whilst Connect has been 2 years in the making, it is only the first step towards digitalisation and ACFS have already commenced projects to transition its 3PL, FAK and AQIS operation in efforts simplify and enhance their evolving digital ecosystem. Over coming months, ACFS’ welcomes customer feedback and would like to thank those customers who participated in pilots and innovation discussions with a firm commitment to continue to invest in future innovation and positive disruption.

Terry Tzaneros, Chairman of ACFS and industry veteran of over 40 years said “the logistics industry needs a new pillar of growth, and technology, if utilised appropriately can enable unparalleled growth. ACFS took it upon themselves to set the standard in the industry and create a culture of change and innovation so Australia can become a leader in supply chain innovation globally”. The ACFS Board and Management Team are very excited to launch the ACFS Connect and look forward to the next phase of innovation.