Forwarders ‘need smarter ways to compete’

Freight agents and logistics managers should concentrate on supply-chain efficiency, not spot rate management, claims technology CEO

October 23, 2015 by Mike King


Forwarders and logistics managers are spending too much time managing ocean freight spot rates and should instead look to make supply chains more efficient, according to the CEO of one leading freight and logistics technology provider.

Alex Ruf, CEO of Centrolene Solutions, which provides IT-based freight networking services – and the technology platform for the freight forwarder network Centrolene Network – said that forwarders had little influence on the stability of rates because carriers continued to put more capacity into a slow-growing market, a combination that would inevitably cause fluctuations until supply and demand became more evenly attuned.

The result, he warned, was that forwarders were spending “too much energy playing the ‘rates up, rates down’ game” rather than looking for better ways to optimise supply chains. “Forwarders need to look for smarter ways to compete and provide a better quality of service, rather than relying on rates which they cannot control,” he said.

“By embracing technology, forwarders can offer a higher standard of service that will help their customers optimise their supply chains. The industry as a whole will benefit if technology is used to create an electronic paperless and optimized workflow.”

He said automation would save a significant amount of time and money for everyone, although it was unlikely to have an impact on the fluctuating spot market. Ruf also forecast that rates would continue to fluctuate in the medium to long-term.

“Looking at the order books of the carrier industry, it is hard to see when the bearish spot rates will come to an end,” he said. “And the delivery of huge new vessels will only add to the problem of overcapacity.”

Centrolene is one of a number of companies now offering IT-based supply chain solutions designed to enable forwarders to expand operations and reduce costs. Its recently launched membership-based organisation of forwarders, Centrolene Network, uses technology to give local or regional forwarders a global network, according to Ruf.

He said the company’s ‘C-Suite’ portfolio was designed to manage rates surges, fluctuations, and exceptions that were inherent in managing a modern supply chain. “It is the world’s first and only fully integrated technology solution for the logistics industry,” he claimed.

IFS Group Peru

IFS Group Peru

IFS Groupis one of the most representative cargo agents in the world. It is part of a seven agent’s network, with more than 5,000 strategic partners located in almost all cities, ports and airports worldwide. We are a business group that has highly qualified personnel, enabling us to advise them on any of the processes of international and national trade, offering them a comprehensive service.

We have three business units, in order to specialize the service for each of them: International Freight Shipping (IFS), Logis Logistics (LL) and International Freight Logistics (IFL). Such areas are focused and specialized in Air Transport, Sea Transport, Projects, Customs and an Integrated Logistics Service.

We are your best option on International Cargo Logistics Distribution, with a coverage backed by 2,500 representative agents worldwide. Through our Global Logistics Network we reach over 450 origins and / or destinations.

Type of Services:

  • Sea Transport
  • Air Cargo
  • Project Cargo
  • Customs Brokerage
  • Service Logistics Integrated
  • Courier Service
  • Regional Hub
  • Transshipment Activities

Office Location: Peru

For more information, please contact

DPD Laser Mauritius Ltd

DPD Laser Mauritius Ltd

DPD Laser (Mauritius) Ltd specializes in small package deliveries for both regular daily routes and requests for pick-up and delivery that are in addition to the courier’s scheduled route for that day.

Our Customer Service Desk monitors your requests and this practice allows anyone with access to the internet to follow his or her shipment step by step, from the request for pick-up to delivery at the final destination. Proof of delivery is posted to our web based tracking system ( on a real time basis.

DPD Laser (Mauritius) Ltd is a partnership own by DPD Laser (South Africa) 51% ,IBL Ltd (Mauritius) 25% and Chronopost (France) 24%.

Our personal and business reputation gained from customers and authorities being dealt with – in addition to the great accuracy in choosing employees, agents and service-partners too.

We do have a professional and motivated team having industry-wide expertise, own bonded warehouse with dedicated customs officers.

Type of Services:

  • Courier Exports
  • Courier Imports
  • Import Express
  • Express Consolidation
  • Freight Services
  • Domestic Delivery
  • Regional Hub
  • Transshipment Activities

Office Location: Mauritius

For more information, please contact

Contech Transport Services Pvt Ltd

Contech Transport Service Pvt Ltd

Contech Transport Services Private Limited (CTSPL) was incorporated as a private limited company under the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956 on December 23, 1993.

In 2009, CTSPL took its next step into international freight forwarding business with an object to carry business by road, sea transport and multimodal transport, clearing & transport of cargo of all kinds. CTSPL has been a registered port transporter at Mumbai Port Trust (MPT) and has its own MTO license which is essential for its COC activity.

We offer a complete spectrum of integrated logistics services on a global platform that includes Ocean, Air and Land Logistics, LCL consolidation, FCL forwarding on both inbound and outbound shipments. All these services are backed with a host of other support services like road/rail transport, customs clearance, stuffing and sailing schedule and routing options.

With a global network and time-tested processes we assure you of hassle-free shipments. Our experienced professionals guide you through the complexities of global shipping. We offer single-source supply chain solutions to and from any point worldwide keeping you informed of your shipment status at every step.

Type of Services:

  • LCL Consolidation – Exports & Imports
  • FCL Forwarding – Exports & Imports
  • Air Freight Exports & Imports
  • End to End Logistics

Office Location: India

For more information, please contact

S’pore firm develops IT solution for forwarders

Centrolene clients use its C-Suite to transform themselves from local to global players

October 5, 2015 by Amit Roy Choudhury


THE freight forwarding business is a very important part of the logistics and supply chain industry. With Singapore’s position as an entrepot, freight forwarders play an important economic role here.

The industry is facing more competition, new regulations and customer demands. As a result, freight forwarders are increasingly relying on information technology (IT) to remain competitive.

Alex Ruf, CEO of Centrolene, notes that not only do freight forwarders have to compete with other forwarders in their country, they also have to compete with large multinationals trying to poach their best customers. Centrolene provides technology solutions to the logistics industry.

The company was established in Singapore in 2014. Its founders are based in both Singapore and Germany. With its headquarters in Singapore, the company has established a service centre in Cebu, Philippines. The company also has offices in Frankfurt and Mumbai, and will soon open an office in the United States.

“Currently, we have 15 people supporting the business directly but if you include our affiliate, we have another 100 supporting the network,” Mr Ruf adds.

He notes that in order to win and keep business, forwarders need two things – a technological edge and quality partners around the world. “That is what the Centrolene Network offers them. Our aim is to build a global network of forwarders all connected with a common technology platform – the Centrolene C-Suite.

“Members of the Centrolene network use the C-Suite to transform themselves from local players into global players with the ability to offer services that outperform larger industry players.”

Centrolene Network is built around a common technology platform – the Centrolene C-Suite. It was launched last month. Mr Ruf adds that the goal is to have 2,000 members by 2020.

“Interestingly, whilst we expected our early adopters to be the more developed trading economies like the US and Europe, the demand for our new technology is now coming from Africa, Latin America and Asia as well,” he adds.

“What makes Centrolene Network different from every other forwarder organisation is our commitment to technology. We use technology to bring the forwarder networking model into the digital age,” Mr Ruf says.

“Singapore is a natural choice of location for the headquarters of Centrolene. The city is one of the world’s great centres of trade and has numerous skilled and talented people working in the logistics and supply chain management industry. Add to that the business-friendly regulatory environment and competitive tax rates, and Singapore is an attractive place for any new venture,” he says.

Mr Ruf adds that until the development of the C-Suite, freight forwarders had relied on multiple applications by different software developers in order to meet their technology needs.

Trying to get software from multiple companies to work together is an expensive and time-consuming task for forwarders. The price of the software and the integration can cost a forwarder tens of thousands of dollars, he adds.

“The C-Suite solves this problem for forwarders as it delivers all the technology requirements in one seamless ecosystem for freight forwarders.

“More importantly, our customer solution and CRM (customer relationship management) modules are about generating new revenue and securing existing business. So, not only will they benefit from savings in set up costs and implementation time, they will also be able to grow their business exponentially if they use the network and technology effectively. And because of the added transparency in transactions, there will also be improvements in business margins.”

He adds that many solutions offered by freight forwarders to shippers today are based on shipment levels. Centrolene’s solution provides “full transparency including visibility and alerts on global inventory, production lead times and raw material supply times.

Giving an example, he says that one common practice in modern supply chain management is “just in time” inventory management. “So if a shipment is delayed, the C-Suite can alert the forwarder and their customer as well as providing options to re-route a shipment or to take other action, such as sourcing from another supplier to ensure any impact on the supply chain is eliminated or minimised.”

Mr Ruf adds that much of the software used by the logistics industry professionals is adapted from other industries, and “never really quite meets the needs of our industry”. Logistics companies have spent millions trying to adapt software to make it fit their requirements and to get it integrated with their other software, he adds.

“The C-Suite was developed by four experienced industry professionals who understand exactly what forwarder need to compete and win more business. It gives business owners and managers the analytical tools they need to understand how their business is performing, address issues and tap opportunities in a timely manner to grow their business,” he adds.

“At Centrolene, we have the experience in supply chain management and we have worked with many shippers on the improving workflow. We also understand what shippers need on top of the ERP (enterprise resource planning) to manage their business from a supply chain perspective,” Mr Ruf says.

Centrolene to launch new forwarder technology, network platform

The Singapore-based IT provider’s platform is aimed at mid-market forwarders who need modern IT applications and global partner connectivity to compete with major global forwarders.

September 16, 2015 By Eric Johnson
American Shipper (Custom)

Freight forwarders have been forced to lean heavily on two cornerstones as their shipper customers’ supply chains have stretched farther across the globe: technology and agent networks.

The problem is that many mid-sized forwarders lack the IT expertise to provide competitive technology-based solutions, and others struggle with the legwork required to set up trusted partners across the world.

There are, of course, myriad IT solutions that forwarders can use to make their back office functions or rate and contract management more efficient. And there are forwarder partner networks that allow mid-market companies to quickly tap into a vetted array of partners in their chosen market.

But Centrolene, a Singapore-based startup, is aiming to bridge those two cornerstones through a single platform. The company’s network, set to launch Thursday, is a fee-based platform that concurrently provides users with modern internal and customer-facing solutions, as well as access to a network of like-minded forwarders in different countries.

Centrolene’s founder and Chief Executive Officer Alex Ruf said the goal of the company is to have 2,000 forwarders on its network by 2020. There are currently 80 signed up prior to the launch, with another 110 in the final vetting stages.

Ruf came upon the idea for the enterprise during a career that has spanned 12 years in various roles with the U.S.-based forwarder BDP International, and prior to that, running his own mid-sized forwarder.
“I started thinking, what does a mid-size freight forwarder need to manage their business, to compete with the big guys?” he told American Shipper in an interview.

The essence of Centrolene is marrying modern applications with a partner network that can help those companies offer service breadth and depth that resembles what they’d get from a larger forwarder. The name, incidentally, refers to the South American glass frog, who’s organs are visible through its translucent skin. The connection is that Ruf envisions Centrolene being a transparent provider of technology and hub for forwarders to connect.
The connection part, according to Ruf, is especially resource-consuming.

“If you’re a freight forwarder in the U.S., let’s say you need to connect to 20 key markets,” he said. “You’d have to establish this, and that’s hard work, but now we are the hub.”

Centrolene’s platform will provide communication solutions that enable forwarders to connect their offices with those of partner offices. A separate application allows discussions, whether by chat or email, to be automatically attached to the shipment to which those discussions pertain.

“You don’t only have an exception code, but also what has been talked about in the shipment,” said Ruf.

Those applications are part of what Centrolene is dubbing its C-Suite. Other applications include C-Tower, a configurable visibility tool that forwarders can tweak based on the needs of specific customers. Some customers, for example, may only need to see transportation milestones, while others may want to integrate alerts from their enterprise resource planning system around order placement or raw material procurement.

“Each shipper is different and forwarders need to have an answer to each shipper,” Ruf said.

The data generated by the system is also intended to help forwarders run their business better, similar to tools provided by contract and rate management software providers like Catapult International, CargoSphere, and Info-X.
Along with a customer relationship management application, data from applications with the C-Suite can be scrutinized to determine whether, for example, a markup strategy is working for a particular customer, or whether sales staff are spending too much time chasing requests for quotes from customers that never actually book.

Interestingly, the platform can also help forwarders parse transactional customers from more strategic ones. During the procurement process, as a shipper requests a rate, the system will examine the shipper based on characteristic thresholds pre-configured by the forwarder. The system may suggest the forwarder quote a small, occasional shipper according to the contract in the system. But a quote request from a bigger shipper could trigger an alert that for the forwarder to manage that relationship.

Ruf said forwarders already in the network account for an estimated 30 countries, and there won’t be exclusive rights for one partner per country.

“Different agents have different strengths,” he said. “Some have strengths in different verticals, or in procurement of different modes.”

Another application, C-Link, allows users to, as Ruf put it, “design your own network within the network.”

Pricing for the Centrolene system is based on monthly fees, depending on the number of modules and services a forwarder wants to use, its geographic location, and the number of offices using the platform. There’s also a monthly membership fee – to access the network – that cuts the cost of the software applications. User fees for applications rise on a per-month basis for lower membership levels.

The goal, Ruf said, is to present affordable, easy-to-integrate options that forwarders can layer on top of existing legacy systems if necessary. C-Line is included with membership and is designed to allow forwarders to avoid rekeying information to its network of partners.

Launch of the world’s first technology focused forwarder network



Members plug-in and power-up their businesses with the industry’s best software

16, September 2015 [SINGAPORE, USA, EUROPE] – With the launch of the Centrolene Network, freight forwarders now have access to the two things they need to win more businesses – strong partnerships and powerful technology.

The Centrolene Network is the world’s first freight forwarder organization built around a common technology platform – the Centrolene C-Suite. The Centrolene Network uses this technology to redefine the old forwarder networking model and bring it into the digital age.

Chief Executive Officer Mr Alex Ruf said the Centrolene Network changes the way forwarders operate by giving them a complete ecosystem of technology that lets them outperform their competition.

“By deploying the C-Suite across the Centrolene Network, each member effectively transforms itself from a local player to a global one. Our members have the ability to offer a level of service and visibility that outperforms larger industry players and puts them in front of their local competition.”

“The C-Suite technology has been designed without compromise to meet the needs of freight forwarders. It is the only fully integrated solution for the logistics and supply chain management industry and has been designed by industry professionals, for industry professionals.”

“The C-Suite allows Centrolene Network members to amplify and project their strength to potential customers. It provides connectivity to other members in the network and allows them to easily perform all their global processing functions.”

“A key benefit of the C-Suite is the ease with which this new technology can be integrated into the forwarder’s business. C-Suite eliminates the problem of getting software from different companies to work together, saving the forwarder both time and money,” Mr Ruf said.


Centrolene’s C-Suite is the only fully integrated, comprehensive and industry-specific technology solution for freight forwarders.

Until the development of the C-Suite, freight forwarders have relied on multiple applications by different software developers in order to meet their technology needs. Trying to get software from multiple companies to work together is an expensive and time consuming task for forwarders. The price of the software and the integration can cost a forwarder tens of thousands of dollars.

The C-Suite solves this problem for forwarders. The C-Suite delivers all the technology requirements in one seamless ecosystem for freight forwarders.

The C-Suite includes:

  • C-Tower – the most powerful end-to-end visibility and analytical tool ever created for the transport industry. The C-Tower:
  • is a customer-facing solution that allows forwarders to offer their customers a level of service and visibility that is the best in the industry.
  • allows the forwarder’s customers to access the alerts, analytics and reports they need to manage their supply chains.
  • has a fully customizable dashboard so customers can see all the information they need every time they log into the forwarder’s website.
  • C-Link – a communication platform for managing relationships with agents and other Centrolene Network members
  • C-Quest – a customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed specifically for our industry’s needs
  • C-Quote – a pricing tool that streamlines and automates the work of seeking and analyzing prices
  • C-Bridge – connects existing data from a company’s legacy system with C-Tower and C-Quest
  • C-Contract (Coming soon!) – a better way to manage contracts, rates and agreements with carriers

Centrolene’s C-Suite is a cloud-based system using the platform and infrastructure provided by Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Azure has industry-leading security measures and privacy policies which have been independently verified.


The Network

The Centrolene Network brings together companies with a proven track record and a desire for growth and success. Members share a belief that technology is the key to beating the competition. All applicants for membership undergo full background checks and auditing to ensure they are financially robust before being admitted as a member of our network.

Service Center

Centrolene Network has established its own service center in Cebu in the Philippines. Members can choose to have Centrolene’s service center provide back office support to help them save on the costs of documentation processing.


Centrolene Network provides training tools to help members get the most out of the C-Suite and how to sell the benefits of the technology to their customers.

The Guarantee Fund (in 2016)

Starting in 2016, Centrolene Network members will be able to enjoy the financial protection of the network’s own Guarantee Fund.

Insurance and Claim Management (in 2016)

Centrolene Network members will be able to enjoy competitive transport and forwarder insurance under the network’s umbrella policies.

Centrolene Pay (in 2016)

Centrolene Pay will let members transfer or receive money from other members for free, saving money that otherwise would be lost to bank fees and charges.


Centrolene Network is a membership based organization that brings together ambitious freight forwarders with a commitment to innovation, efficiency and growth. By deploying the C-Suite across the Centrolene Network, each member effectively transforms itself from a local player to a global one, with the ability to offer a standard of service and visibility that outperforms larger industry players.

Centrolene is a company dedicated to technological innovation in the logistics industry. Centrolene is changing the way the industry operates by developing a complete ecosystem of technology solutions that small and mid-sized companies use to outperform their multinational competition.

Centrolene Solutions is the owner, developer and marketer of the C-Suite – the world’s first fully integrated software solution for the logistics industry.

Centrolene has offices in Singapore, Germany, India and The Philippines. It will be opening an office in the United States soon.

For more information see:

SHS Schiffahrt Handel Spedition GmbH

SHS Schiffahrt Handel Spedition GmbH

SHS – Schiffahrt Handel Spedition GmbH was founded in 1992 by Hans-Herbert Scherff in Bremen. The company relocated to its present site in Delmenhorst in 1998 as a two-man operation and operates approx. 1000 m large hall including office space and approx. 4000 m² outdoor area.

In 2007, SHS acquired plant 2 in Ganderkesee Hoykenkamp features outer surface 500 m² indoor and about 1000 m. The company is family-owned. Christian Scherff was appointed on the 01.01.2014 as the Managing Director.

For more than 20 years, SHS successfully combine logistics and packaging under one roof: all over the world and in all its facets. Friendly, customer-oriented and with a highest level of service quality.

SHS – shipping trade Spedition GmbH: reliable and experienced partner for your logistics projects.

Type of Services:

  • Industrial Packaging
  • Forwarding Processing
  • Transportation and storage
  • Project business
  • Industrial gases
  • Trade

Office Location: Germany

For more information, please contact

DMC Universal Logistics WLL

DMC Universal Logistics WLL

DMC Universal Logistics is a young and dynamic organization founded by a group of shipping and freight forwarding professionals with a vision to create global opportunities for its customers by providing comprehensive logistics solutions.

  • Researching and planning the most appropriate route for a shipment (taking account of the perishable or hazardous nature of the goods, cost, transit time and security)
  • Arranging appropriate packing (taking account of climate, terrain, weight, nature of goods and cost) and delivery or warehousing of goods
  • Obtaining, checking and preparing documentation to meet customs and insurance requirements, packing specifications, and compliance with overseas countries’ regulations and fiscal regimes.
  • Offering consolidation services by air, sea and road – ensuring cost effective and secure solutions to small shippers with insufficient cargo to utilize their own dedicated units.
  • Liaising with third parties to move goods (by road, rail, air or sea) in accordance with customer requirements
  • Arranging insurance and assisting the client in the event of a claim
  • Arranging payment of freight and other charges, or collection of payment on behalf of the client.
  • Arranging air transport for urgent and high-value freight and managing the risk door to door.
  • Arranging charters for large volume, out-of-gauge or project movements by air and sea
  • Acting as broker in customs negotiations worldwide to guide the freight efficiently through complex procedures
  • Dealing with special arrangements for transporting delicate cargoes, such as livestock, food, medical supplies and other fragile goods; arranging courier and specialist hand-carry services
  • Working closely with customers, colleagues and third parties to ensure smooth operations to deadlines
  • Acting as consultant in customs matters
  • Maintaining current knowledge of relevant legislation, political situations and other factors that could affect the movement of freight

Type of Services:

  • Ocean / Air / Land Freight
  • Warehouse Management Systems
  • Custom Clearance
  • Relocations
  • Cargo Insurance
  • Logistics Solutions
  • Bulk Liquid Logistics

Office Location: Kuwait; Qatar

For more information, please contact

CGI Logistics SA de CV

CGI Logistics SA de CV

CGI was founded 42 years ago, by Ricardo Pineda, who was an ambitious entrepreneur.

His business wisdom allowed this corporation to growth and lived several joint ventures with largest US and European freight forwarders (Schryver and BDP International).

There were 8 years of success and strong position on global markets, the Mexican shareholders reach and agreement to re-buy the shares of the company to diversify and maintain the key markets and not only the chemical industry that BDP is specialized. After 4 decades of continues changes and inexhaustible customer service experience, this company has a business logistics solution acumen.

Today, CGI is the first mexican global logistics freight forwarder, which serves the NAFTA members through our own office in USA,TPP markets through our own alliances in Asia, Europe and specialized own partnerships and agents in more than 120 countries.

Type of Services:

  • Door to door services
  • Air, Sea, Land and multimodal Transport
  • Warehousing and Distribution
  • Freight Forwarding
  • Cargo Project
  • Hand Carrier / Hot Shots
  • Cargo Insurance and Transportation Insurance
  • Customs Cleareance
  • Supply Chain
  • High-Tec Development, EDI, SAP, Etc.
  • Customs and Transportation
  • Track and Trace systems
  • Strict Legal Procedures
  • Domestic, Regional and National Transport services
  • Inventory control
  • Pick and pack

Office Location: Mexico; Argentina; Chile; USA

For more information, please contact