Robin Welsh, Halls, the Netherlands:

"It's very noticeable that fruit and vegetable trade-savvy people designed"

Robin Welsh is an operations manager at Halls Operations. He saw the introduction of the portal. And it quickly caught his attention. Halls is a South African avocado and mango producer. Its European sales office is in the Netherlands. This office has seen volumes increase in recent years.

The company was looking for a solution to manage all its shipments and associated documentation. They were using error-prone Excel sheets, and their mailboxes were overflowing. There were also frequent phone calls back and forth. Not to mention manually tracking containers through shipping company websites. That was no longer a desirable working method.

Robin Welsh (Halls), Christian Schouten (Logistic Documents), and Eilen Cortes (Halls).

"We were trying to see if there were existing IT systems to which we could connect. Or whether we needed to find people to develop such a platform. When I saw the news about the launch of, I was immediately enthusiastic. That was exactly the system I was looking for," says Robin.

"It was made for and by people in the fruit and vegetable sector. They know our business and know what we need. Also, it's a plug-and-play addition to our existing IT infrastructure. So, there was no need for endless implementation processes. Our company thinks in terms of long-term partnerships. This collaboration's a good example of that."

Halls' supply chain and administration divisions have been using the portal for a month now. And things are going well. "As an importer, we work with a lot of documentation. We used to receive it by e-mail and place it in folders. Now it can all be easily found on one platform. We have a full overview of en route container and ship statuses too. We also receive immediate alerts if delays occur. We can, therefore, proactively inform our customers," explains the Operations Manager.

The system offers numerous options. "We can, say, integrate it with our quality department for quality reporting. That results in a tight claim handling process. Or we can add logistics partners. Then we can communicate with suppliers within the platform. That reduces the endless e-mail flow. Partners have an up-to-date overview of shipments. The integrated Track & Trace provides real-time ETDs & ETAs. Finally, the finance department gets automated emails, so involving them in the operation."

"It's clear that this solution was designed by people who understand the fruit and vegetable trade," adds Robin. "They did so very professionally too. We decided to use all the platform's options right off the bat. The system is very user-friendly. Our co-workers quickly got the hang of it. We currently only use the system internally with our offices in Northern Europe. The next step is to give our suppliers access to the platform."

Robin highly recommends to fellow importers and exporters. "There must be more companies in the sector that need a tool to manage all their logistics documentation in real time. This portal improves communication and information transfer between departments and parties in the chain," he concludes.

For more information:
Robin Welsh
72 Honderdland
2676 LS, Maasdijk, NL
Tel: +31 (0) 174 791 040 
Mob: +31 (0) 634 061 675

Christian Schouten/David van den Heuvel
55 Handelscentrum ZHZ
2991 LD, Barendrecht, NL
Tel; +31 (0) 180 617 011
Mob: +31 (0) 618 583 791 / +31 (0) 629 703 865 

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