Trading up

Shipment tracking automation that benefits process and people
by Hollie Rogin
4-minute read
Construction worker using a digital tablet

Automation doesn’t just save time and money. It can free people to learn and grow.

Inter Aduaneira, a Brazilian international trade consultancy, was looking for ways to streamline operations and improve the services it offers. The company was founded in 1996 and it, along with its several intermediaries, used analog methods to help customers track worldwide shipments of goods. Its expertise includes having a thorough understanding of the complex bureaucracies, legal affairs and accounting rules of individual countries around the world.

Tracking shipments was often difficult due to the manual processes and the extensive documentation required. The data entry process was time-consuming, prone to error and lacked robust security. There are several organizations involved in every import or export transaction, and each adds data to documents such as commercial invoices, packing lists, bills of lading and others. Because this data is often not in a digital format, it must be manually consolidated. “In foreign trade,” says Breno Palhares, Inter Aduaneira co-founder and the CEO of the spinoff company Axxin, “data entry mistakes mean high fines and undelivered goods.”

The company itself was unable to tap into the innovation within its workforce. Inter Aduaneira realized that future success lay in the hands and minds of its employees. The Inter Aduaneira IT department began investigating what it would take to create a technology solution to replace all manual processes.

Shipping container freighter docked

Inter Aduaneira conducts more than

35,000

trade operations per year

Automation saved Inter Aduaneira

800

hours per analyst

In foreign trade, data entry mistakes mean high fines and undelivered goods.
Breno Palhares
CEO, Axxin

The company decided to begin with those that impact all or most of the services it provides to its customers, such as import or export declaration records, import licenses, bills of lading and cargo tracking systems. After realizing just how challenging this would be, leadership decided to spin off a new company to address the issue: Axxin. Axxin created four fundamental solutions for analytics, data mining, workflow automation and AI: Axxin Advanced Analytics, Axxin Data Miner, Axxin Workflow Automation and Axxin Artificial Intelligence. Then, it began focusing on applying automation technology to Inter Aduaneira shipment tracking processes.

Airplane at the terminal
Two coworkers wearing hardhats and discussing infront of docked shipping container freighter
Digital transformation is not immediate; it’s a whole journey to be planned.
Breno Palhares
CEO, Axxin
The solution: right at home
Digital transformation is not immediate; it’s a whole journey to be planned.
Breno Palhares
CEO, Axxin

Axxin chose the IBM® Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solution* because of its local presence and grounding in big data. With Inter Aduaneira’s 35,000 trade operations across Brazil and multinational clients that span the globe, the company wanted to take advantage of the data automation solution to help it plan for the future.

The RPA solution is at work 24 hours a day, gathering information from multiple documents, including import and export declaration records, import licenses, bills of lading and official cargo tracking systems. It then logs itself in to government systems and inputs the information it collected.

Global expansion

The RPA solution has freed analysts to apply their skills to creating better customer relationships and helping Inter Aduaneira grow. So far, it has automated:

• 6,500 issued invoices
• 7,300 tax payment forms
• 5,550 air cargo system accesses
• 4,300 exportation processes
• 1,400 international trade process instructions

There are approximately 200 skilled analysts at Inter Aduaneira, and this solution saved more than 800 hours for just one. In some sectors of the company, response times have improved by 80%. The solution is more accurate and has led to increased safety and control.

Inter Aduaneira envisions creating value in international supply chain management by applying data science and AI to its foundational work of digitized data and automatic processes.

*The client featured in this case study initially engaged with WDG Soluções Em Sistemas E Automação De Proces LTDA which began conducting business as IBM on January 1, 2021. The WDG products in this case study, WDG Studio and WDG RPA, are now known as IBM RPA Studio and IBM RPA Solution respectively.

Inter Aduaneira logo
About Inter Aduaneira

Inter AduaneiraExternal Link is a worldwide trade consultancy. Founded in 1996 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, the company operates more than 40 offices across the globe, including nine in Brazil, one in the US, one in Canada and 30 partner offices in Brazil.

Solution component
Inter Aduaneira logo
About Inter Aduaneira

Inter AduaneiraExternal Link is a worldwide trade consultancy. Founded in 1996 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, the company operates more than 40 offices across the globe, including nine in Brazil, one in the US, one in Canada and 30 partner offices in Brazil.

Solution component