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On the market there seems to be a growing demand for logistics solutions and especially for global and complete solutions with total insight into the entire distribution chain. In the logistics industry especially one player has been winning ground like no other. With an international network consisting of 130 offices in 28 countries and a hefty message flow of around 1.000.000/month, TNT Freight Management is today one of the leading companies within logistics. The wide and global coverage and the complete distribution services make it possible for TNT Freight Management to offer their customers the best service including total presence in the whole distribution chain, from beginning to stop. In order to handle the heavy message flow and to guarantee a high security level the Xware platform Business Communications Suite is used, which task is to tie together all of TNT´s local offices with each other. This way the information becomes available to all connected parties, no matter which format the user uses.

Smooth and global message flow
TNT Freight Management provides planning, surveillance and management of trace data, customs documents and other information that is easily and flawlessly sent all over the world. Everything, ranging from small parcels to large containers, occasional deliveries or complicated flows is offered to the customers. By combining services to integrated solutions TNT Freight Management improves the efficiency in the customer's flow significantly.

With its extensive geographic ventures TNT has been able to get established in most areas around the world, especially in Scandinavia. Also USA and Germany have proven to be successful ventures, and recently great deals were settled with Bosch in Germany as well as India. The probably biggest focus though has been on China and Asia, a market that perhaps isn't the easiest, but where good results have been achieved.

E-services - Planning, Surveillance and Management
Within the world of logistics there is a constant pulsating flow of information streaming between customer and receiver, the expectations on the deliveries are high; the procedure should be safe and secure and at the same time fast and efficient. TNT Freight Management works hard to be able to offer their customers the best service as well as the possibility to participate themselves in the transport of their own parcel.

With the web service E-services, TNT Freight Management can offer their customers an all-around tool that covers all imaginable needs within planning, surveillance and management. E-services provides e.g. complete document handling and rapport system with an advanced platform independent order management system. The service has since start-up received a positive response (around 2 000 000 hits on the net and 20 000 visitors per month) and makes the customer present in the logistics chain from the first order until the final delivery, paper work can easily be eliminated. "Our opinion regarding e-services is that all our produced documents should be put there. All status information shall be made available no matter if the customer uses the services or not", explains Håkan Nilsson, CIO at TNT Freight Management.

In order to achieve maximum efficiency in the logistics chain, the service has been divided into three areas: Freight Planner, Freight Monitor and E-management, all optimally designed to serve the customer in the best way possible. With the new service Control Tower all these services are sewn together.

Freight Planner - time- and price information around the clock
Through the web based tool Freight Planner, TNT´s customers get access to both time and price information no matter when the service is used. By comparing different service alternatives the customer is able to make big savings both time-wise as well as financially. At the same time the number of actual errors is decreased since the customer specifies the booking information for the goods only once. "Freight Planner has today around 15 000 bookings per month. The exact quantity can be difficult to say since some of TNT´s services require login while other simpler track and trace services do not ask for id and password. It's not until these last two years that Freight Planner has been marketed actively", tells Håkan Nilsson.

Freight Monitor - for better surveillance of orders and deliveries
Freight Monitor is a web application that makes it possible for the customer to login to TNT´s own web service and follow up on the delivery of a certain article. The details and status information for a parcel is returned to a pre-defined web page through an "application-to-application interface", which the customer then gets access to. The trace tool is efficient and offers functions that normally aren't included in similar tools, for example information about statistics, rapports and transport documentation. By having access to detailed information about for example performance, time deviations, airplane status, etc, the customer can simplify his/her planning & quality control and at the same time make big financial savings.

E-Management - for collaboration online
E-management is a collective term for several different business modules that are used by customers with larger, more complex logistics needs. Håkan Nilsson explains, "Freight Monitor and Freight Planner are more Plug-and-Play solutions that any customer can use. E-management is an umbrella name for more sophisticated services that we normally just offer to our key accounts and global accounts. Some of these are actually segments of Freight Planner and Freight Monitor." In here you can find a number of different administrative tools that simplify the transparent information exchange between the participants within the distribution chain.

E-management consists of:
Report Management - Simple and tailor-made rapports generated by Freight
EDI Management - Electronic invoicing via EDI between TNT Freight
Management and their customers.
Order management system - Surveillance and control over purchase orders.
Warehouse management system - IT support, for control over stock levels
and goods movement.
Message Bridge - Transmission of electronic documents between different
parties of the logistics chain, for example between, TNT´s local offices,
customs authorities, customers, airlines etc. The information in the
exchanged documents is easily converted so that it can be sent into the
receiver's system.
Virtual Private Network - Provides secure information exchange over the

Control Tower - ties together all parts to a whole
In order to increase the service one more notch, TNT Freight Management has added some extra functionality to make it easier for customers to further benefit from the services offered. The new service Control Tower, which will be launched later on this year, ties together all of the e-services´ components to a unity, information is made more available to the customer. "By tying together applications, the customer doesn't need to turn to Freight Monitor to follow up on a delivery, instead status information is pro-actively produced for the customer. We can integrate it with the customer's ERP-system, by using for example EDI, mail or XML", explains Håkan Nilsson.

Technical facts about the solution
To achieve the best messaging functionality TNT Freight Management has chosen to use the xTrade Business Hub server as a base - with placement in Sweden. The solution which has been installed in Message Bridge works as a message switch with EDI-functionality and converts, through the software Symphonia, to different formats and versions, for example ANSI X, XML, In-house, EDI, etc. Badria Ali, EDI-responsible at the company and who works daily with the product comments, "The system is continually filled with information from all of TNT´s local offices either by using small "satellite-systems", that is xTrade Business Connect systems, or by using a web interface. We think that both xTrade as a product and the conversion with Symphonia has worked very well." Thanks to xTrade, TNT Freight Management now has a solution that is both technically advanced as well as stable and secure.

On-going projects
At TNT Freight Management the work proceeds with developing new applications to further improve user friendliness. Håkan Nilsson has a positive outlook on the progress, "We have successively built in new functions, increased the number of customers and benefits for every customer by offering these services".

The next service TNT Freight Management wants to offer their customers are tailor-made rapports. As it is today, large quantities reside in Freight Monitor, information that hasn't yet been made available. To refine this information and present rapports both internally for management and externally to customers, these services are being tailor-made even more. As a next step, TNT Freight Management is right now in the middle of revising the new application Marine Logistics. The service consists of an order manager, transport manager, and warehouse manager. "It is an e-service with focus on e.g. cruising ships that need spare parts, towels, champagne and everything else that is associated with cruising ships, to this we have built a system", tells Håkan Nilsson. Both the custom made rapports and Marine Logistics will according to TNT Freight Management be launched later this year.

TNT Freight Management provides air-, sea freight and logistics services within an international network consisting of 130 offices in 28 countries. In Sweden TNT Freight Management has 330 employees in 9 offices. TNT Freight Management has its origin in the old Wilson Logistics Group, which was acquired by TNT during 2004 to complement a hole in the product briefcase. Wilson's structure was decided to be kept but with the difference that it was now incorporated in an even larger body containing a more aggressive growth plan. It has proven to be a smooth and profiting transition for both parties and with the typical TNT-color painted all over, the previous Wilson services have now become "TNT-conformed".