Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Lobsters in Louisville
Of course, the lobsters aren’t from Kentucky, they’re from Nova Scotia. So the lobsters have to be first shipped by truck to Louisville, and you might wonder why it is worth the bother to do that. But that’s where document engineering issues come in. Clearwater used to ship live lobsters to the US from Canada, but each package required numerous documents. A truck full of lobsters is essentially a giant package, so Clearwater saves a lot time filling out forms to cross the border.
By the way, the documentation requirements for lobster shipping are pretty simple as things go. My Document Engineering course syllabus includes a report by the Australian government on "Paperless Trading" that has this staggering observation about the ridiculously complex information architecture for international transactions:
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the average international transaction involves 27 to 30 different parties, 40 documents, 200 data elements (30 of which are repeated at least 30 times) and the re-keying of 60 to 70 per cent of data at least once.
Tags: DocumentEngineering, Logistics
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