Scalable real-time event streaming platform for a global forwarder

6 minutes read

The largest logistics company in Europe required a near real-time data platform to connect big data from many sources, with over one million daily updates. It had to display the current status of the freight and be accessible anytime.

Our client needed a highly available and reliable cloud-based solution for all land, air, and sea transport routes. The plan was to collect, process, and present GPS signals from containers. 

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Then, the customer wanted to connect and enhance this dataset with the freight information relevant to each cargo. However, the project idea initially turned out to be quite complex.

The Challenge

The logistics company used supply chain software to collect and manage shipment data. The platform would have had to be extensively adapted to add more functions. This function expansion would be available to all software users and benefit our client’s competitors. It would have prevented the competitive advantage that our client sought. After an unsuccessful attempt to build its solution platform, the logistics company turned to VirtusLab.

The Solution

VirtusLab (VL) developed a cloud-based event streaming platform that processes events (data) from multiple sources. In addition, VL created a data inspection engine to automate further and track freight delivery progress against business rules. This event platform covers all the functions required by the client, scales linearly, and provides resilience and enterprise-level reliability. In case of failure, VirtusLab developed a backup solution for the existing supply chain solution.

VirtusLab automated manual operations, such as:

  • Generating push alerts about late shipments immediately instead of batch processing alerts.
  • Triggering the customs import procedure as soon as the required parameters are available.
  • Creating escalation procedures for late-arriving air cargo shipments.
  • Creating sea freight documents within the transport management system.

On top of that, we enriched shipping data with automatic calculation of CO2 footprint information and order data. Automated reports helped the company become a global leader in providing carbon intelligence data and freed sustainability management from creating time-consuming CO2 reports.

Our client and their customers see all data in one user interface that VL connected with the event streaming platform. While doing so, we introduced security standards for data transmission and created trust for a long-lasting partnership.

The Results

With the use of the new cloud-based data platform, the logistics company benefited in several ways:

  • Significant savings in annual operating costs.
  • Competitive advantage over rival users of supply chain solutions.
  • Unique customer experience with a 360° view of the consolidated freight data collected worldwide in real-time.
  • The platform is highly scalable and resilient through the consistent use of the reactive programming model.
  • Adding new functions is easy and quick to do.
  • Dozens of virtual resources (RPAs) were decommissioned.
  • Dozens of employees have been freed from repetitive work and are now turning to critical tasks instead.
  • The solution generates automated CO2 footprint reports.

The tech-stack

Infrastructure: Microsoft Azure, Kafka,
ElasticSearch, Terraform, CloudBees Jenkins
Languages: Scala
Frameworks: Lightbend Akka
Monitoring: ElasticSearch & Kibana,
Prometheus, Grafana

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VirtusLab's work has met the mark several times over, and their latest project is no exception. The team is efficient, hard-working, and trustworthy. Customers can expect a proactive team that drives results.

Stephen Rooke
Stephen RookeDirector of Software Development @ Extreme Reach

VirtusLab's engineers are truly Strapi extensions experts. Their knowledge and expertise in the area of Strapi plugins gave us the opportunity to lift our multi-brand CMS implementation to a different level.

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VirtusLab has been an incredible partner since the early development of Scala 3, essential to a mature and stable Scala 3 ecosystem.

Martin OderskyHead of Programming Research Group @ EPFL

VirtusLab's strength is its knowledge of the latest trends and technologies for creating UIs and its ability to design complex applications. The VirtusLab team's in-depth knowledge, understanding, and experience of MIS systems have been invaluable to us in developing our product. The team is professional and delivers on time – we greatly appreciated this efficiency when working with them.

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