Freightways

Freightways Speeds Up DevOps and Lowers Costs by 90% with Serverless Technology

2021

Freightways is a leading provider of Express Package services in New Zealand. Picking up, processing, and delivering over 50 million items per year, Freightways operates extensive point-to-point, hub-and-spoke, and road and air freight distribution networks across New Zealand, with access to and from international markets. Freightways also provides Business Mail (print and digital), Information Management, and Secure Destruction services throughout Australia and New Zealand.

To develop a solution that is cost-effective to build, maintain, and operate, while opening new revenue streams by meeting Freightways’ guiding principle of ‘be easy to integrate with’, Freightways turned to Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide a platform for digital capability and enablement.

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Freightways saved around 90% on platform costs, and we were able to focus on pursuing business growth without dedicating huge amounts of resources to achieve the high standards of technical uptime and speed required for our business.”

Scott Robinson
Enterprise Architect, Freightways

Maximizing IT Spend for Modernization

According to Scott Robinson, group enterprise architect at Freightways, Freightways has been able to derive greater value from its IT spend through its collaboration with AWS.

“Freightways saved around 90 percent on platform costs, and we could focus on pursuing business growth without dedicating huge amounts of resources to achieve the high standards of technical uptime and speed required for our business,” says Robinson.

Freightways implemented a new courier processing system using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) developed in-house, to better integrate its operations with all customers, from small family-owned businesses to large Australasian retailers. With AWS providing guidance on best practices, resilience, and architecture, within three months Freightways’ DevOps team successfully executed the proof of concept for a go-to-market solution in 2020.

Freightways can now capture and process courier package data under ten seconds on average—a major improvement on the five-minute interval it used to experience. Customers also enjoy greater visibility and better service with accurate and timely tracking information.

With the new processing system, Freightways can easily back up and secure data while boosting business continuity and disaster recovery through new patterns enabled by AWS’s highly resilient and available PaaS services and infrastructure. Freightways could also successfully integrate with third-party businesses, creating new revenue streams by taking advantage of the ecommerce boom triggered by the pandemic.  

Achieving DevOps at Speed

AWS has worked with Freightways since November 2019 to mitigate software bottlenecks in its legacy system by modernizing and migrating key workloads to AWS.

Using AWS Fargate and Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), Freightways runs its containers without needing to manage any on-premises infrastructure. Amazon ECS container orchestration service integrates easily with other AWS services with all business-critical events easily logged and monitored in Freightways’ Observability platform.

With Amazon API Gateway, Freightways can develop APIs at scale with easy access to data, business logic, and functionality from its backend services. Amazon DynamoDB provides Freightways with a key-value and document database for low-latency data access within milliseconds, while launching containers in a dedicated Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) gives Freightways a high level of isolation for secure app development.

Freightways’ IT team can now deliver new product features with speed, with an ability to roll out seven or eight new microservices a day, compared to quarterly releases in the past. With new agility to innovate and utilise reusable templates, Freightways is able to deploy a newly branded Sender Portal and API environment within hours, which previously would have taken days.

Innovating for Business Resilience

David Kelly, ‎group development and data manager for New Zealand at ‎Freightways, explains that Freightways is looking to explore other AWS services to meet the company’s business goals.

He adds, “We gained the ability to build solutions and innovate quickly with the support of a large and mature organization like AWS. Having a huge range of high-quality services to choose from gives us a lot of power to choose the right tool for the right job.”

To drive greater innovation and better customer service for sustained business growth, Freightways plans to continue moving more workloads to serverless databases, employ artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools to develop predictive insights on courier delivery metrics, and use data analytics for improved visibility of courier routes and partners.

To Learn More

 To learn more, visit aws.amazon.com/ecs.


About Freightways

Freightways is a leading provider of express package services in New Zealand. Picking up, processing, and delivering 200,000 items per day and 50 million items per year, Freightways owns and operates the most extensive network in New Zealand, with multiple connections to international partners. Freightways also provides Business Mail, Information Management, and Secure Destruction services in both Australia and New Zealand.

Benefits of AWS

  • Derive greater value from IT spend, saving around 90 percent on platform costs
  • Better operational efficiency and customer service, capturing courier package data in under ten seconds compared to previous 5-minute interval
  • Deliver new product features with speed, with an ability to roll out seven or eight new microservices a day compared to quarterly releases

AWS Services Used

Amazon Elastic Container Service with Fargate

Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) is a fully managed container orchestration service that helps you easily deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications. 

Learn more »

Amazon API Gateway

Amazon API Gateway is a fully managed service that makes it easy for developers to create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs at any scale. 

Learn more »

Amazon DynamoDB

Amazon DynamoDB is a key-value and document database that delivers single-digit millisecond performance at any scale.

Learn more »


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