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China Shipping: A new far-reaching network helps optimise operational efficiency for China Shipping

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Overview

China Shipping chooses a BT IP Connect network across Asia Pacific and the Americas for higher bandwidth at lower cost

For global shipping companies, co-ordinating vessels and containers – and their loading and unloading at distant ports – is a never-ending dance of dazzling complexity. Software doing that depends on a fast and reliable infrastructure.

With its legacy network creaking, China Shipping set up a team under Xiuping Wang to recommend a solution. Service providers were invited to take part, and BT Global Services played a vital role.

Chosen for its stability and global reach, a BT network now connects 37 sites across Asia Pacific and the Americas. Bandwidth has increased six-fold, while costs have reduced by some 20 per cent. And new ideas like video conferencing are saving time and money, and making China Shipping more sustainable.

We have developed great confidence in BT and its people, and BT will become a long term business partner. We look forward to BT bringing new technology innovation to our business.”
- Xiuping Wang, General Manager, Enterprise Strategy Planning, Member of the Supervisory Committee, China Shipping

Challenge

China Shipping Group is a state-owned shipping conglomerate. It operates five specialised shipping fleets, together totalling over 440 vessels. The company is headquartered in Shanghai and conducts its business on a global scale through offices in more than 260 countries.

The company had a global wide area network based on Frame Relay technology. This had served it well, but the technology was becoming dated and the cost of running the network was high.

Xiuping Wang, General Manager, Enterprise Strategy Planning, and a member of the Supervisory Committee at China Shipping, explains: “China Shipping is growing fast and aims to become the world’s leading container shipping company. We needed a world class network offering greater flexibility and higher bandwidth to support the increasing demands of our business applications and enable the convergence of voice, data, and video.”

China Shipping invited a number of global service providers to field technology experts to advise an internal project team. BT was an active participant, and the result was to opt for a wide area network based on multi-protocol label switching (MPLS). This provides always on, high bandwidth connectivity that is fully scalable and flexible to meet changing business needs.

Xiuping Wang explains: “We chose BT because it is a well-established and financially stable company that could offer us leading technology with global reach. BT has also shown a strong commitment to China and we have been impressed with its people, its collaborative approach, and the technology innovation around its 21st Century Network.”

Solution

The BT IP Connect managed service for China Shipping extends to 37 sites in all parts of Asia, the US, Canada, and Latin America. BT provides and maintains both the circuits and the routing equipment located on China Shipping sites, backed by a proactive remote 24/7 network performance and fault monitoring service. Access is provided at a range of speeds from 128kbps for smaller sites to 45Mbps for those with the largest data transfer requirement.

As well as running core business application for China Shipping, the network also supports a separate regional business application in the Americas. This is hosted at the company’s New Jersey data centre and requires low latency to function efficiently.

Value

The BT IP Connect network was fully implemented on time and has proved to be very reliable.

Xiuping Wang says: “The BT IP Connect network has given us greater flexibility and much shorter lead times for service provision. Bandwidth has increased six-fold, meaning that our applications are much more responsive, yet despite this our operating costs have reduced by around 20 per cent.”

The new network also provides China Shipping with a platform for convergence. The ability to prioritise different data packets – a feature of IP Connect technology – allows the network to support video conferencing services between Shanghai, Malaysia, Australia, the US, and Canada. Used daily by China Shipping executives, this has improved communication and collaboration and speeds decision-making. Video conferencing is also helping China Shipping reduce the need for global travel; lowering operating costs and helping the company become more sustainable.

The company is studying the feasibility of migrating voice services onto the IP Connect network. This further consolidation will potentially reduce network administration costs and allow further network rationalisation, leading to incremental cost savings.

Core BT Services

  • IP Connect managed global network
  • 24/7 proactive network performance monitoring

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