Complete solutions

Indian-based Transworld Group has grown from strength to strength since it began operations in 1977. It has offices in 28 locations and it has now just added another warehouse in Jebel Ali’s Free Zone South Zone, providing complete logistics services.

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By  Laura Barnes Published  May 2, 2005

|~||~||~|Transworld Group, an Indian-based shipping and logistics company, has opened a new warehouse facility in Jebel Ali Free Zone’s (Jafza), south zone. The warehouse, which has a flexible open plan system, will allow the facility to serve clients from a variety of industries, providing storage, repackaging and distribution. To make the best of this space, the company will use the latest IT and warehouse management system (WMS), as Transworld looks to provide a range of services to both its existing shipping customers and new clients. “We are involved in most phases of the liner transportation industry and we felt it was important to have this [warehouse] as well, so we can give our customers a complete one window solution no matter where they are based. We are a shipping company with a lot of business from a variety of industries and locations, so Jebel Ali acts as an ideal base for them to store their goods,” says Ramesh S. Ramakrishnan, chairman, Transworld Group of Companies. The 8000 m² warehouse has 6500 m² racking space for 9583 pallets. It will handle a variety of dry goods, with the pallets sitting on a fixed pallet racking system implemented by SSI Schaefer. “We have chosen our pallet racking system from Schaefer, as each level can take a standard weight of 1.2 tonnes on standard European pallets. The aisle width has also been taken into consideration in this system, which means that by palletising we have recognised handling in the system,” says Manish Puri, general manager, logistics, Transworld. The racking system allows a range of dry goods to be stored because of the flexible system — meaning it is ideal for companies who want an area for themselves to stop contamination for instance, especially in units where products would otherwise be mixed. “For instance, we are expecting an organic food company to use our facility. We will not only be storing food, but we will provide the whole service of shipping the cargo, repackaging it from larger units into smaller ones and also redistributing the units. Because of this, and the fact that it is organic, the company has taken a section of the facility and installed its equipment,” he adds. A partition has been placed around the company’s leased area of the facility, to prevent dust and other matter contaminating the food. This will be key in the organic foods company’s bid to get the facility certified by the American Food & Drug Administration (FDA), as well as other organic organisations in the USA, which would then enable not just this company to use the warehouse, but also other organic food producers looking for facilities in Jebel Ali.||**|||~||~||~|In terms of IT, Transworld intends to implement handheld scanners that can support RFID technology, although it has not yet finalised a make or model. The 3PL will also implement RFID-compatible software, but only barcodes will be used to begin with. Manish adds that RFID will not be used until the cost of it decreases to become more in line with barcode technology. The core WMS for the facility is the recently-designed Aware from Exactus Software, which Transworld is only the second customer for in Jafza. The implementation was undertaken by Aware’s Dubai partner, Business Strategy Group (BSG). “They [BSG] have been operating in Dubai for nearly ten years now, so we will rely on them for any technical problems that we may have with the system, rather than dealing wih Exactus Software,” says Puri. “The system offers us an intelligent operations planning system. This means that the programme tells me how to plan my operations. The idea behind it is that you should be able to turn around cargo at higher volumes,” he adds. Transworld needed to make some modifications to Aware to support its specific requirements. However, this was judged to be easier and more cost effective than developing a system in house. “Why should we re-invent the wheel? The whole concept of a warehouse management system is that it is already set up and can be used at any facility,” reiterates Puri. The main alterations made to the system were to enable it to support the documentation requirements of Jebel Ali customs. Additionally, Aware has had to be modified to integrate with Transworld’s shipping system, so that the 3PL can provide a seamless service. “We are in the shipping business, and the technology that we use has to be modified to accommodate this fact. Furthermore, with the opening of this facility, we are hoping to support a lot of existing companies from our shipping business, so we can provide them with a complete service,” explains Puri. Aside from its existing customer base, Transworld has also received a huge amount of interest from other companies wanting to use the facility. Gulf Soaps is already using the warehouse and Transworld is in talks with an electronics company and a tobacco company, which would take advantage of the refrigerated units in the facility. “At the moment, we have received a lot of interest, which looks extremely positive for phases two and three of the expansion plan. However, I predict that nothing will take place until we are 80% full here. I guess that will take two years,” says Puri. “When we are full here, we will then need to look at how fast the cargo is being turned around and what type of cargo we are getting. Then we will decide on the specifics for the next round of construction,” he adds. “This facility, will remain as a storage for general storage goods. Phases two and three however, will be much more specific, with the facility catering to whatever brings in the most returns and demand,” Puri adds.||**||

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