September 12, 2016

Barry Callebaut sweetens the task of transportation management with a new TMS

Barry Callebaut sweetens the task of transportation management with a new TMS

Thanks to a cloud-based TMS, this Swiss chocolate wholesaler has gained better visibility over 40-foot containers stuffed with West African cocoa ... hungry yet?

By Ben Ames

You may have never heard of Barry Callebaut Group, but chances are, you've tasted its product. Barry Callebaut is a business-to-business chocolate and cocoa manufacturer, with annual sales of $6.6 billion and customers all over the planet. In fact, the Zurich, Switzerland-based company's reach is so vast it likes to say that its ingredients are found in one out of every five chocolate and cocoa products consumed worldwide.

In the course of supplying chocolate from its 52 facilities to food manufacturers in more than 100 countries, Barry Callebaut realized it needed a better way to manage global shipments. In particular, it was concerned that its outdated manual processes could result in inaccurate bills of lading and delivery-time estimates. That led the company to look for an automated method of tracking the large volumes of containers it ships by ocean.

"We needed a technology-based solution to better manage ocean shipments, carriers, lanes, and leadtimes across the supply chain," says Martin Kaeshammer, Barry Callebaut's team leader for origin shipping-planning. "We had no live tracking of goods in transit, estimated time of arrival was calculated based on transit time as provided by the carriers, and we had no visibility into the actual performance of carriers."

The company found the solution to its problem in a cloud-based transportation management system (TMS) from Waterloo, Ontario-based Descartes Systems Group. The application is designed to reduce complexity and trim users' logistics spend by better managing processes throughout the shipment lifecycle. Barry Callebaut is now using the new tool to manage ocean shipments from its cocoa processing factories in West Africa.

Controlling that complex cocoa flow with Descartes' software has given Barry Callebaut better control over its chocolate empire. "It's a large supply chain network to manage for sea freight, and the Descartes solution will allow us to better manage rates and relationships with carriers and forwarders," Kaeshammer says. "It will also allow us to add more lanes as business needs dictate."

About the Author

Ben Ames
Senior Editor
Ben Ames has spent 20 years as a journalist since starting out as a daily newspaper reporter in Pennsylvania in 1995. From 1999 forward, he has focused on business and technology reporting for a number of trade journals, beginning when he joined Design News and Modern Materials Handling magazines. Ames is author of the trail guide "Hiking Massachusetts" and is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.

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