OOCL is one of the world’s largest global container transport and logistics service providers, with a network encompassing Asia, Europe, North America and Australasia and more than 230 offices in 58 countries around the world. For over 50 years OOCL has been at the forefront of the industry, transporting thousands of containers every day and embracing innovation to enhance its customer-focused solutions. It has an outstanding reputation for providing quality service with its global network of services, people and IT. Headquartered in Hong Kong, OOCL has invested continuously in new equipment and in information technology to support its expanding business.
In line with its innovative approach to information technology, OOCL has developed an advanced system to integrate into a single system its financial information, the business processes of all its offices, and information about its customer shipments. The aim was to revolutionize its customer service and optimize business operation. The resulting system, the award-winning Integrated Regional Information System (IRIS-2), has introduced a new culture into the company in the way it thinks and does business.
Producing accurate, timely electronic customs documentation is vital to OOCL’s smooth operation. In order to be given permission to unload containers at busy ports in various countries, accurate electronic documents under OOCL’s carriage must be submitted to customs in a timely manner.
As part of IRIS-2, OOCL has developed its Inbound-Outbound Customs Module (IOCM), which accesses a Sybase ASE 12.0/12.5 database server.
The overall performance of IOCM depends on having reliable, high-performance connectivity when accessing the Sybase database to pull off the necessary information for electronic customs documentation. This is a global, 24x7x365 requirement.
Fast, Accurate Customs Documentation
OOCL’s Enterprise Messaging Group, part of the company’s Information Services Division, is responsible for providing solutions for electronic manifesting for customs in the many different countries where OOCL does business. Every week, the company has to create thousands of documents to submit to various customs and terminal ports.
The key business driver for OOCL was to build a customs manifesting system from reliable components, with good, 24-hour support. The Enterprise Messaging Group needed to ensure it had fast, reliable database connectivity as part of its goal to provide the company with timely and accurate electronic customs manifesting systems.
Stability, Reliability, Performance
“We decided to purchase Progress® DataDirect Connect® for ADO.NET in 2004, initially for Australian Customs manifesting,” explains Renwill Yang, manager of OOCL’s Enterprise Messaging Group. “The major technical considerations were stability, reliability and performance.”
DataDirect Connect for .NET is the industry’s only ADO.NET data provider with a 100% managed code architecture that supports the Microsoft .NET framework, delivering secure, high-performance data connectivity.
OOCL needed high-performance database drivers on Windows 2003 to access its Sybase ASE database server on HPUX. The company tested the DataDirect .NET drivers’ and the result was approximately 50% performance gain.
“The greatest challenge in implementing this system is to meet external and internal requirements in a very short time frame,” says Yang. “The use of stable and reliable components definitely helped to achieve that goal.”
OOCL worked closely with Hong Kong integration provider Bematek, a Progress® DataDirect® partner in Hong Kong, in implementing the DataDirect product and now uses the DataDirect software to help it produce thousands of electronic customs documents every week.
Having successfully implemented its electronic customs manifesting system for container ships travelling between Hong Kong and Australia, OOCL is extending the usage of DataDirect Connect for .NET as part of its IOCM solution.
In future, it will use the DataDirect software to help produce electronic customs documents for container ships travelling to the US and other European and Asian countries