The Descartes Systems Group Inc., a provider of supply chain services, recently announced that it has joined forces with Beijing China Railway United Logistics Co. Ltd., a logistics company and a division of China Railway United Logistics (CRUL), to enable distribution-sensitive companies to optimize and gain real-time control of the movement of goods and inventory in China.

CRUL, named as one of China's top 10 logistics providers in 2002, has asked BCRUL to build and operate a comprehensive real-time logistics information platform that will leverage the nation's extensive railway network and offer integrated logistics services for sea, air and land transportation in China. CRUL believes the Logistics Information Platform will help the company achieve its strategic objective of becoming a prominent third-party and fourth-party logistics provider in China.

Descartes will provide visibility and transportation management services for the platform and BCRUL will assist Descartes with the marketing and sales of Descartes solutions to key BCRUL business partners and customers, including some of the largest companies in China in steel, tobacco, and wine and beer. In general, industry analysts have noted that much of the logistics and transportation infrastructure in China is fragmented and confined to regional boundaries making it costly for distribution-sensitive companies to move goods. In addition, a lack of visibility and connectivity between the different modes of transport such as rail, ocean and truck often results in inefficiencies and an inability to track goods as they move throughout the supply chain.

Recognizing these challenges, CRUL was established in 2001 by China rail related transportation companies, freight forwarders and technology companies, with a mission to improve customers' distribution processes and overall supply chain efficiencies. BCRUL will tackle this challenge of providing customers with real-time, multimodal, door-to-door supply chain services by using Descartes solutions.

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