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Hamilton Economic Development

An evolution in logistics

CareGo develops new technology to speed up transportation of steel.

CareGo is trucking out some new technology. It now has a driver check-in kiosk at its facilities that strongly resembles an ATM machine but reads a bar code or series of keyed in numbers to alert staff of a truck’s arrival and its load.

The information also can be accessed remotely by the customer or the shipper.

It’s just one more piece of automated technology designed by the transportation logistics company.

CareGo made its mark in moving steel via marine, rail and truck and has evolved as it needed to solve increasingly complex issues around moving and storing coils of steel as a supply chain delivery and innovative logistics firm.

Walter Krancevic, vice-president of sales and marketing at CareGo, said the technology is “battle-tested” and its own transportation company provides a giant lab for making sure the new technology will work.

About 150 people are employed at CareGo with facilities on Longwood Road (billed as Canada’s largest intermodal transportation facility), Eastport Boulevard, Burlington Street and its CareGo Innovation Centre on Dundas Street in Burlington.

Krancevic said the steel and warehousing industries traditionally have been slow to adopt new technology, but that attitude changes when the advantages of automation become clear.

“The technology used to be receiving an Excel spreadsheet and people would say ‘wow’,” he said. “There is ample opportunity to help customers improve efficiency even more.”

“After it was up and running, the drivers got used to it and liked it. It appreciably made their jobs better.”

Time savings are incalculable.

In the previous manual system, a truck driver would arrive at the facility with some pieces of paper, try to find the supervisor to check in, possibly wait in line behind other trucks, bring the truck in and manually enter the bar code numbers for each steel coil after unloading.

Now most of those steps are compressed with the swipe of the bar codes by the driver at the check-in kiosk.

The software associated with the system also gives customers the ability to manage and analyze their business.

“Any customer anywhere in the world can access this information on the Internet. If they have one of their customers saying ‘Where is that product?’, (the CareGo customer) can go online and say, ‘It just arrived, it will be there later today.'”

The new driver check-in system is catching on, and CareGo is selling the technology to other companies, including another steel mill.

“They had truck deliveries going helter skelter and this helped them organize that chaos.”

Krancevic said this side of CareGo’s operations — innovative technologies in logistics — is growing more rapidly than its delivery division.

It struck a deal last year, for example, with the port of Liverpool for use of its proprietary CareGo technology and products.

“The technology side has a global market. The delivery side is GTHMA. Strategically, (technology) is the most important side of our business; commercially, (the delivery) side is much larger.

“(Delivery) is limited by its physicality. To build (a new transportation facility) is very expensive. We have created high-paid, intellectual jobs in this area. From a social point of view, it’s pretty cool.”

Article courtesy of  Lisa Marr, The Hamilton Spectator.

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