AceFusion Sets up Asian Logistics Portal

SINGAPORE (03/27/2000) - Singapore-based company AceFusion.com has launched FusionHub, touted to be Asia's first integrated electronic logistics portal, with logistics management offerings for various delivery modes -- land transportation, air and sea freight, express courier services, and warehousing.

After securing the first round of venture capital funding of S$4 million (US$2.33 million), the portal is now open for business. It counts among its early customers Ossia International in Singapore, and Traffic Express International in Thailand.

At the portal, users will be able to find the fastest and lowest-cost shipment method; have a centralized point of contact; and have a virtual warehouse where all orders are processed. According to Lim Chee Kean, chief executive officer, AceFusion.com, the company is trying to fill a gap in the services necessary to complete the electronic-commerce cycle.

While many e-commerce businesses have created a Web presence and are taking orders online, they lack a connection between the Web orders, and the necessary back-end logistics systems that ensure smooth product deliveries.

"E-commerce is nothing without e-fulfilment. Today, as e-commerce becomes more prevalent in Asia-Pacific, the real measurement of online success is determined by the fulfilment backbone, how the business supply chain is integrating with logistics providers to get the right package out from the warehouse, across land, air and sea to the right buyer at the right time," said Lim.

Lim also noted that of the 2,000 logistics providers in Singapore, the majority are small and medium-sized companies who are unlikely to have leased lines, or EDI (electronic data interchange) in place.

While the larger companies are likely to still rely on EDI as the preferred means for exchanging business documents, the SMEs (small and medium-sized emterprises) -- which have often balked at using EDI due to technical challenges or cost issues -- are now more likely to opt for e-commerce when they do go online.

With a view to companies requiring back-end software to manage their logistics systems, AceFusion also has a suite of software, for the management of warehouse inventory, air freight information, express air freight information, and sea freight information.

Started in 1998, AceFusion today has 60 employees, and is expected to announce its second round of venture funding in the middle of this year. It currently has financial backing from the National Science and Technology Board (NSTB) Venture Investment Support for start-ups.

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