Universal Logistics chooses Descartes

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Descartes Systems Group has announced that Ontario-based Universal Logistics Inc., a freight forwarding and customs brokerage services provider, is using the Descartes Canadian Customs Brokerage solution to increase customer satisfaction and improve operational effectiveness through automation of labor-intensive customs declarations processes.

The solution is enhanced by an innovative documentation digitisation solution from Windmill, a Descartes United by Design partner.

“Best-in-class technology is an investment we make to help our people provide customers with smarter logistics solutions,” said Paul Glionna, vice president systems development & operations at Universal Logistics.

“Using the Descartes system, we’ve achieved a level of automation that has unlocked significant productive time for higher quality customer conversations. Multi-page commercial invoices that previously took hours to complete are now done in 10 minutes, and commodities are now classified at the time an entry is created to further streamline customs clearance. This type of process automation is a high impact, low effort means to allow us to focus on higher-value work for our customers.”

An on-demand software solution, Descartes Canadian Customs Brokerage provides customs brokers with the ability to streamline and automate the workflows associated with customs entries, regulatory filings, and customer invoicing to improve operational productivity. The solution uses the Descartes Global Logistics Network (Descartes GLN) to electronically connect customs brokers with shippers, carriers and regulatory authorities around the world to speed data collection and dissemination.

Descartes Canadian Customs Brokerage is integrated with Windmill’s EasyClearance solution to allow unstructured electronic documents, such as PDFs of commercial invoices from shippers, to be converted quickly and effectively to structured data, eliminating the need for repetitive, error-prone, time-consuming manual data entry that would slow the customs clearance process.

“Leading customs brokers such as Universal Logistics are using automation to minimise their effort in lower value tasks and give them more time to focus on customer service,” said Glenn Palanacki, VP industry strategy, forwarding and brokerage at Descartes.

“Given our long-standing commitment to being at the technology forefront for customs brokers, we’re happy to work with Windmill to make significant advances in the automation to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) filing processes.”