Pall-Ex is an express pallet distribution network operating throughout Europe with 164 network members in 8 countries, primarily independent SMEs.
Most members are hauliers who benefit from the simple “hub and spoke” network for rapid distribution and having access to Pall-Ex’s MyNexus system, which enables them to pass on order processing to their customers where feasible.
Although Pall-Ex moves 40,000 pallets daily, most of these are smaller shipments, creating a high level of complexity for the business. As a result, Pall-Ex has invested heavily in automation to remove difficulty for their customers, which means today it’s as simple to send a pallet to Berlin as Birmingham using the Pall-Ex network.
Brexit created a requirement for customs clearance for any pallets moving between countries where an import or export declaration is needed.
Further complexity was added by the fact that Pall-Ex relies on their members to enter the shipment information, so customs clearance information was reliant on 3rd parties.
Immediately following Brexit, shipments were liable to delays in receiving cleared paperwork and the warehouse dedicated to holding these pallets became full, stopping the receipt of new shipments.
In addition, the need for confirmed customs clearance created a blockage in the standard procedures, as shipping labels could not be printed until clearance was confirmed.
Why choose ChannelPorts?
Having struggled with a complicated manual system when the need for customs documents started, within a few months Pall-Ex realised that an automated solution was needed, which could be fully integrated into their existing MyNexus system via API, so that shipments requiring clearance could be treated identically to those sent domestically.
In addition, with customs clearance rules changing fast during the initial implementation process, it was important that Pall-Ex had a partner who could adapt quickly and help them understand exactly what they needed to do.
Alongside its competitive pricing, the speed of the systems response was an essential factor in the choice of CustomsPro. This means that customers can enter order details, and the system will process paperwork immediately, creating a “real-time” experience.
Plan of action
Implementing CustomsPro via the API was very straightforward, with no significant issues. As a result, the team were able to integrate and test quickly before going live. The integration removed any need for manual processes.
Today, Pall-Ex processes up to 100 declarations daily through CustomsPro, which continues to operate seamlessly and has totally removed the need to store freight during the clearance process, as goods arrive already cleared before they reach the hub.
The benefits to Pall-Ex
By integrating CustomsPro into the MyNexus system, customers of all sizes can enter the customs clearance information when they place their shipment without knowing they are interacting with CustomsPro, as this sits seamlessly in the background, thus customs clearance is fully automated.
In addition, the customs documents are stored online for anyone connected to the pallet movement to download or access.
Sue Buchanan, International Network Director, summarised the benefits of CustomsPro succinctly:
“The speed of response of CustomsPro, how everything works perfectly and being able to integrate it via API into our MyNexus system fully means that customs clearances are handled seamlessly in real-time. CustomsPro keeps customers shipments moving without delays and without them being troubled by customs issues. They are a great partner to work with”