NEW YORK — January 11, 2010 — NRF 99th Annual Convention & EXPO Convention — Descartes Systems Group, a federated global logistics network, unveiled its latest ‘Logistics Solutions for Retail’, a suite of logistics applications created specifically to address the needs of the retail market, from international suppliers and local distribution centers through to the retail store and customer’s door.

Descartes’ Logistics Solutions for Retail support multiple modes of transportation as well as cross-border shipment compliance for internationally manufactured products. The solutions enable retailers to cut costs and streamline their logistics operations, improve in-store availability and last-mile delivery reliability, offer new levels of customer service and help ensure compliance with rapidly emerging international shipping regulatory requirements. 

Descartes’ Logistics Solution for Retail manages the flow of goods inbound to distribution centers and outbound to stores and consumers through:

Transportation Management: Descartes Transportation Manager validates, plans, executes and audits shipments into and out of distribution centers. Retailers can make choices between private fleet/dedicated fleet and “for hire” carriers.  Advanced consolidation options can generate multi-stop and pooled shipment plans.  Transportation Manager can also and drive compliance with corporate route guides to lower transportation costs and streamline transportation management operations.

Ocean Shipment Audits: Descartes Ocean Freight Audit provides retailers with a cost effective way to automate the auditing of ocean freight invoices to reduce overcharges and ensure carrier contractual compliance. Descartes Ocean Contract Managed Service offloads time-consuming and complex contract maintenance to provide more accurate invoice auditing.

Shipment Tracking and Delivery Performance Management: Descartes Visibility tracks the progress and status of international and domestic shipments and their associated inventory across multiple modes of transportation and customs clearance. It provides 360 degree supplier and carrier compliance reporting, from purchase order to dock receipt, to improve delivery and information reliability. Retailers can reduce inventory and associated inventory carrying costs by improving inventory availability and minimizing out of stock situations.

Customs Compliance: Descartes Customs Filing & Compliance Services address the need for retailers to meet evolving world-wide cross-border filing requirements such as ISF 10+2 and automated broker interface (ABI) for self-brokering retailers. It ensures the smooth flow of goods and enables retailers to meet governmental regulatory requirements in a cost effective way.

Compliance Monitoring: Descartes Compliance Monitoring provides retailers with a collaborative workflow application to streamline the collection of required documentation required in the customs filing process, such as commercial invoices, certificates or origin and bills of lading. Information can be collected as both electronic documents and imaged original documents. The improved workflow allows for increased accuracy and reconciliation of purchase orders to actual shipped goods increasing customs filing accuracy and compliance.  

Messaging Services: Descartes Global Logistics Network (GLN) is one of the largest logistics networks in the world, connecting over 20,000 suppliers and logistics services providers and carriers. The GLN supports the lifecycle of messages that retailers require to work effectively with their suppliers and transportation partners, and includes support for retail specific message requirements such as UCC128. By streamlining their communication with suppliers and logistics partners, Descartes enables retailers to reduce costs and improve supply chain responsiveness.

Supplier Enablement: Descartes Onboarding Service helps retailers get connected to their suppliers and logistics partners. Descartes’ in-house team of network specialists takes over the retailer’s burden of connecting the trading partners to the GLN to accelerate supplier collaboration and shorten time-to-value.

Dock Appointment Scheduling: Descartes Dock Appointment Scheduler provides a collaborative process for carriers and suppliers to work with a retailer’s distribution center (DC) to help ensure dock availability for inbound and outbound shipments. It takes dock availability and DC resources into consideration to load-level inbound and outbound shipments, thereby streamlining the flow of goods into and out of their DCs and minimizing DC resource costs.

Yard Management: Descartes Yard Management tracks inventory in the DC yard, and manages the location and movement of trailers within the yard. The mobile solution enables yard jockeys and gate personnel to use the solution anywhere within the yard. By better understanding the status of inventory at the DC, inventory levels can be reduced and the movement of goods into the DC and out to stores can be managed more cost effectively.

Pick, Pack and Ship for Small Package Operations: Descartes' Pick, Pack and Ship enables small package order planning, Radio Frequency (RF) picking, pack verification, returns management, warehouse management and manifest compliance for a wide range of small package and less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers. With this solution, retailers can reduce small package shipping costs and streamline the pick, pack and ship process for faster customer service.

Pick, Pack and Ship of Inbound Merchandise with Compliant Labeling: Descartes Pick, Pack and Ship applications can be deployed at the retailers’ supplier locations.  The application can use Purchase Order information to create a checklist for shipping at the carton level and the required Advanced Ship Notification. The application can print the required complaint labels for the retailer’s operations and the carrier based on the retailer’s routing guide information.  This application increases the compliance to ASN information, transportation route guides and streamlining the warehouse receiving process with compliant labeling. 

Route Planning and Dispatch for Store and Home Delivery: Descartes Route Planning Solutions optimize strategic, tactical and operations fleet routing decisions from service policy strategy through store replenishment and “last-mile” delivery to consumer homes. The solutions optimize planning by providing the real-time status of routes and deliveries through integrated GPS-enabled wireless mobile solutions. Retailers benefit from reduced fleet-related transportation costs and improved delivery reliability.

Delivery Appointment Scheduling: Descartes Reservations provide a new level of customer service by enabling customers, checkout clerks or customer service representatives to schedule deliveries at the point-of-sale (POS), in real-time. It can be integrated with web sites, POS and customer service systems and provides the most cost effective delivery options. It enables retailers to offer delivery appointment booking that improves customer service and can help reduce delivery costs.

Wireless Mobile Solutions: Descartes Mobile & Wireless Solutions offer retailers a wide array of delivery tracking and driver and vehicle status solutions. These solutions can provide driver delivery and pickup instructions en route, help automate proof of delivery, update changes to actual pickup and delivery, and measure vehicle performance from telematics devices. Retailers benefit from improved customer service and lower costs through real-time route updates and improved driver compliance.

"Through our work and ongoing collaboration with leading retailers, we have developed what we believe is the most comprehensive suite of transportation solutions available for the retail market," said Chris Jones, Executive Vice President Solutions & Services at Descartes. "Our Software as a Service (SaaS) and ‘nano’ application architecture, combined with the GLN, enables retailers to immediately address their most pressing transportation and delivery challenges and achieve an even faster time-to-value to expand their focus to an even broader set of logistics challenges."

For more information about Descartes Logistics Solutions for Retailers and federated logistics platform visit Descartes representatives at the NRF 99th Annual Convention & EXPO Convention at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City from January 10 to 13 at the Booth #1623.

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