Making A Freight Company's Data Storage 'Ship-Shape'

Yusen Air & Sea Cargo, a Japanese freight forwarding company in Singapore, utilizes CD-ROM technology to manage its long-term data storage.

Originally housed in a small Singapore office, Yusen Air & Sea Cargo, a Japanese freight forwarding company in Singapore, has grown tremendously and now operates multiple offices. The amount of data the company generates has grown as well.

Yusen Air had been backing up cargo shipping details from its IBM AS/400 onto magnetic tape, a hard-to-search medium that can disintegrate after four to five years. Because Singapore law requires preservation of permits and delivery orders for seven years, magnetic tape is not an acceptable option for long-term storage, said Abdul Razak, Yusen Air's EDP supervisor. The company had been storing hard-copy documents in cartons at an off-site warehouse. Retrieving archived documents meant manually searching through the packed boxes, a time-consuming, difficult job, Razak said.

To improve the accessibility, longevity and capacity of its data storage, Yusen Air interviewed numerous vendors. After searching for cost-effective solutions, the company chose a complete Kodak storage management system, including scanner, scanning software, workstations and the Kodak Digital Science CD Library 144. This system allows the company to scan documents, then index and archive them to its existing application server. Once the server reaches full capacity, documents are written onto CDs and stored in the jukebox.

Yusen chose Kodak because it could provide a complete solution, Razak said. "We liked the idea of not having to work with multiple vendors. And Kodak could provide everything we needed cost-effectively."

Razak noted that besides minimizing costs, the system offers many storage advantages over magnetic tape and hard copy warehousing. "With CDs, data is protected. We don't worry about disintegration problems," he said. "And, the jukebox allows anyone to retrieve data — even those without a CD-ROM drive — because the system is integrated into our local area network. We have increased storage without the problems of our previous system."