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  • Writer's pictureTek Siong, Hock

It is time to OCR your Freight Forwarding Operation

Updated: May 19, 2022

OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is a technology that recognized the handwritten or text on the paper, images, pdf, etc., and digitized it into the computer recognizable text.

OCR is not a new technology per se, but of late, the improved accuracy of the OCR with AI (Deep Learning) and processing power of the computer has made it feasible for SME to leverage this technology, in a more practical and affordable way.

Scroll down to the bottom to see the video for our OCR of the liner's vendor invoice.

Contact us if you are interested to OCR your business operation, be it in Logistics or any other industries. We are always taking pride to work closely with the SME to accelerate their digital transformation.

How the OCR technology can change the Freight Forwarding Operation

1) Digitalized your Vendor invoice (PDF)

In the freight forwarding, very often, you will received vendor invoices from your vendors, on weekly or bi-weekly or monthly basis, with many line items. Example are bills from liner, transport company, Port authorities and so on.

By uploading vendor invoice directly to the system, or other communication means, system will rendered a pre-populating the vendor invoice information, vendor name, bill date, quantity, price, etc., and convert to the vendor bill with a single click.

2) Packing list and Customer invoice (PDF)

Digitalized packing list and customer invoice, and instantly create the Custom Declaration document such as K1, K2, K3, etc., to integrate with custom clearance interface.

3) Carrier booking

Convert your carrier booking in pdf and update to the job.

4) Shipping Instruction

Convert your customer's Shipping Instruction to update your job and create the Carrier Shipping Instruction.

There are many potential application of the OCR in the Freight Forwarding operation and only sky is the limit.

How would it benefits:

a) Automation - speed up the cost allocation in the vendor invoice and make your operation more efficient in a big way.

b) Less human error - Avoid the costly human mistake such as wrong key in.

c) Morale booster to your Employee - young generation of work-force do not fancy working on the repetitive, time-consuming task that is boring and doesn't promote new skill.

What's the catch

1) Depending on the complexity of the document, the OCR processing time could take from 30 sec up to 2 minutes.

2) Using the example of vendor invoices, for SME, there could be anywhere around 20 to 50 vendors, with different vendor invoice format. Documents in the freight forwarding are notably more complex, eg, in the vendor invoice, there could be a mixture of charges with different currency, and blended with containers, POL, POD, BOL, etc.

Fine-tuning of the OCR for each invoice format is essential to ensure a successful conversion.

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