Specialist software has been developed by a New Zealand company to help firms keep track of their imports and exports via the Internet.
Auckland-based Distribution Software also claims its new trackfreight.com service has a potential export market of tens of thousands of firms.
The software creates standard export documents that can be emailed to clients rather than faxed, saving time and money and speeding up communication.
Using the Internet, importers can check exactly where there consignments are and when they are likely to arrive, adding certainty to their planning.
The product was recently launched at a recent conference of international forwarders in Mexico and it has an Auckland launch this Thursday.
Distribution Software managing director Phillip Rashleigh says international shipping is extremely time-sensitive.
If documents are delayed, by even a few hours, a consignment may be held up at a huge cost to importers and exporters.
As more firms use just-in-time supply chains, he says old fax-and-re-key methods are no longer suitable.
"Firms around the world are seeing the benefits trackfreight.com offers in terms of lowering costs and speeding up trade," says Rashleigh.
"It runs on industry-standard systems, and has been developed so any company - no matter how big or small - can use it. If you can use email, you can use trackfrieght.com. The number of potential users is unlimited," he says.
The Web site www.trackfreight.com has details.