Since early 2020, the pandemic had disrupted the logistics industry. The various lockdown restrictions have been a challenge for ports, hauliers and freight forwarders. As such, the Association of Malaysian Hauliers (AMH) are encouraging the hauliers and freight forwarders to give more urgency to go digital to overcome these challenges.
“Digital transformation by logistic players in the import and export industry is important to resolve the turmoil currently faced by ports and supply chains to ensure safety, efficiency and productivity. We have observed that ports and its supporting industries that invest in automation and digitalization have benefited from increased resilience over the past year,” said Soo Chee Yong, President of AMH.
Soo added that both of Port Klang’s ports are still congested due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) and the National Recovery Phase 1 lockdown that is still in force in Selangor. Thus, he is urging freight forwarders and hauliers to migrate from manual processes to paperless systems such as LinkHaul. Digitalizing their systems will help reduce supply chain disruptions caused by lockdowns and improve the efficiency at the ports.
LinkHaul is an online unifying platform which connects hauliers and freight forwarders and identifies imbalanced trips and recommends return jobs for better efficiency. With this system, cargo trucks do not come into or leave the ports empty. This initiative is a collaboration between Port Klang Authority, Westport and Northport that was launched in 2019 by then transport minister, Anthony Loke, to help reduce traffic congestion caused by container trucks at the ports. Currently, LinkHaul has 83 hauliers and freight forwarders as active users.
“The past year has been very trying for hauliers and freight forwarders. Not only are their business operations disrupted by the pandemic, but they also need to constantly ensure the safety of their workers and compliance to the government-ordered standard operating procedures (SOPs). By harnessing the use of technology where data is real-time and easily accessed via an app that comes equipped with QR code scanning and a secure payment gateway, time consuming and manual processes that require physical contact can be done away with. This will also help reduce the risk of COVID-19 virus transmission among workers”, said See Soon-An, Managing Director of Link Effect (M) Sdn Bhd, which developed the LinkHaul system.
Some logistic players are already seeing the benefits from investing in digitalization. Robyn Wong, Director of Ability Scope Sdn Bhd, a freight forwarder, said LinkHaul has helped saved as much as 90% of processing time for their day-to-day cargo operations. She sees the e-consignment note feature in LinkHaul as particularly helpful during these challenging times, as it helps reduce the risk of virus exposure among her employees. Previously, they had to physically sign and stamp the documents which are passed through several hands.
Additionally, Yeoh Hock Heng, Executive Director of Vertex Mission Sdn Bhd, a logistics and supply chain solutions company, credits the implementation of LinkHaul for its role in Vertex Mission’s ability to adapt quickly to the new normal that arose from the pandemic.
“We are pleased that we were already using LinkHaul’s QR code scanning feature to receive and pick up containers when the pandemic came about. It is fast, easy and contactless and because LinkHaul also comes integrated with Westport and Northport’s systems and as all data is accessible anywhere and in real-time, it has helped speed up our processes by taking only half the time of what it used to be”, said Yeoh.