WATERLOO, Ontario — August 29, 2006 — Logistics software and services specialist The Descartes Systems Group Inc. is teaming with South Africa-based Cargo Application Service Provider .Net CC (Caspnet) to exchange air cargo information between South African freight forwarders and airlines as a service of its multimodal electronic messaging network, called the Global Logistics Network or GLN.
The customs division of South African Revenue Service has announced its intention to mandate that airlines transmit cargo manifest information at least four hours before aircraft arrival as is required in the U.S. Johannesburg-based Caspnet is the first electronic data interchange, or EDI, provider to the air cargo industry in South Africa with access to Descartes' GLN to send electronic messages to customs agencies including South African Revenue Service. Caspnet is using the GLN to file electronically in the U.S., Canada, India and South Africa for its customer base of carriers and forwarders.
Caspnet's electronic freight forwarder customer database is now linked to Descartes' GLN so that GLN customers can file cargo manifest information with South African Revenue Service. Caspnet and Descartes also are exchanging air messages including bookings, status updates and air waybills between forwarders, airlines in South Africa and current GLN customers including more than 90 airlines worldwide.
"The biggest impact of the alliance on Caspnet's customers will be that they gain access to thousands of carriers and forwarders exchanging shipment information on our network," said Edward Ryan, general manager of Descartes' GLN. "Another important benefit is that their customers will be well positioned when South African Revenue Service regulations take effect, as will ours. In addition, GLN members will now have unfettered access to the South African market including the ability to exchange information with South African Airways Cargo. In other words, we're continuing to open up the world to our customers."
"Descartes is adding a new dimension to our quest for innovation and improved customer service," said Caspnet's managing director Brian Mulligan. "Already we are the preferred partner of South African Airways Cargo, and even before customs regulations take effect we have extended customs filings services to them, putting them in a good position from the outset. Also we are using Descartes' GLN to connect to other airlines in the world and grow our business."
Caspnet said Descartes will support its involvement in South African Airways Cargo's E-AWB project that offers the airline and its forwarders a fast lane for air cargo check-in if they submit air waybill and house waybill information electronically. Forwarders in this program will receive five automatic status updates per shipment from the airline free of charge, potentially saving them thousands of dollars a year.
"We are helping Caspnet strengthen its relationship with South African Airways Cargo and the South African forwarder community, and Caspnet is helping us strengthen our services to those GLN customers that have cargo flowing to and from South Africa. This alliance is great for both companies," said Ryan.
Caspnet has become a value-added reseller of the software that Descartes has layered on top of its GLN and that it offers as a service, including the recently introduced Quality Monitor system for benchmarking electronic messaging quality. Caspnet is authorized to market and sell Descartes' GLN services in South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Caspnet also is authorized to market and sell Descartes' personal computer-based electronic message forwarding system called PC Pro, its Ocean Connectivity system, and its Web-based system called Web Doc that transmits house waybill information to airlines.
"Descartes is recognized as a world leader that is serving the air cargo community through a wide spectrum of international services," said Mulligan. "By teaming with Descartes we can extend our services while meeting the EDI needs of the cargo community in South Africa and neighboring countries. Ours is a large country with a huge need for technology, and Descartes is helping us offer services to our community that meet that need."
Descartes (Nasdaq: DSGX) (TSX: DSG) is a software-as-a-service company that has been dedicated since its founding in 1984 to developing the world's largest multimodal electronic logistics messaging network, called the Global Logistics Network or GLN. Descartes' on-demand GLN processes more than a million messages every day for companies with transport operations. Descartes also offers software layered on top of the GLN for areas including truck scheduling and route optimization that allows carriers, shippers and intermediaries to translate these messages into actionable information. This information is shared by more than 3,000 Descartes customers, and their customers, in 60 countries. Descartes' customers include about 1,600 ground carriers and more than 90 airlines, 30 ocean carriers, 900 freight forwarders and third-party providers of logistics services, and hundreds of manufacturers, retailers, distributors, private fleet owners and regulatory agencies. The company has about 295 employees and is based in Waterloo, Ontario, with operations in Ottawa, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C. and Stockholm.
On the Net: www.descartes.com
mobile: (804) 240-7719
office: (804) 673-5008
This release contains statements that are considered forward-looking information by applicable securities laws ("forward-looking statements"), including statements that relate to Descartes' product and service functionality and performance; potential benefits and cost savings derived therefrom; Descartes' competitive position; the mandating of the filing of electronic air cargo manifests by South African Revenue Service; the impact of Descartes' relationship with Caspnet on GLN customers; Descartes' support of Caspnet's involvement in South African Airways Cargo's E-AWB project and other matters that may constitute forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Descartes to differ materially from the anticipated results, performance or achievements implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, changes in or termination of the Descartes/Caspnet relationship; changes in or termination of South African Revenue Service requirement for filing of electronic air cargo manifests; changes in or termination of South African Airways Cargo's E-AWB project or Descartes' or Caspnet's participation in such project; and the factors discussed in the sections entitled "Risk Factors" and "Certain Factors That May Affect Future Results" in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Ontario Securities Commission and other securities commissions across Canada. If any of such risks or factors actually occurs, they could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.