Manifests now transmitted electronically JOHANNESBURG-BASED LCL container depot Confreight Containers has taken a major step forward on the EDI (electronic data interchange) front with the launch this month of a pilot project involving the electronic transmission of manifests between themselves and their customers.
Ivan Jenkins of Confreight was one of the technical brains behind the creation of this standard EDIFACT message, which has been developed in conjunction with freight industry computer service provider Ship-Shape Software. It is currently being used by a well-known clearing agent.
With some modification of our software, and the software supplied to Ship Shape customers, clients can now deal with us electronically and save costs, said Jenkins.
Firstnet is the Value Added Network (VAN) provider. According to Confreight manager Stuart Scott, a number of clearing agents and computer service providers to the freight industry were consulted before the system was introduced. Ship Shape was the first to come up with the required software and get the ball rolling, but we are very keen to link to all systems. Future plans include the electronic exchange of unpack reports, damage reports, discrepancy reports and invoice information.
This will involve the development of at least five new messages. In the meantime we hope other industry players will start adapting the first message for their systems, said Jenkins.
The Receiver of Revenue is now recognising an EDI message as a legal document as long as both parties register with the Receiver.