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New e-Commerce Portal from Prologic                                                               Northern Sea Route open by by 2015?
At Retail Solutions 2008, Prologic, the business solution provider for the fashion and            Rouen Business School professor Jérôme Verny, expert in supply chain management and
lifestyle industry, launched its new CIMS e-Commerce Portal, designed with input from             logistics, won the “Young Researcher Award” at the 2nd International Transport Forum held
long-standing customer, Ted Baker, to help fashion brands and retailers to implement              in Leipzig, Germany in May. The award was based on his paper, “Container Shipping on the
effective multichannel retail strategies that will drive new revenue streams. Niche fashion       Northern Sea Route,” which predicts the feasibility of opening up a new regular route of trade
and lifestyle brands and medium-sized retailers have been slow to embrace e-tailing               between Europe and Asia sometime before 2015.
to date. However, according to recent figures from Nielsen, 97% of British web users                  Mr. Verny’s research shows that because of melting Arctic ice sheets, a new commercial
now shop online and more than one third (36%) of these buy clothes — an increase of               maritime route could open via the north, reducing the time and possibly the price of reaching
                                                                                                  the east. The opening of a new route would also decongest traffic on the Royal Route, which
40% in the last 2 years. Whereas larger retailers now have an established web presence
                                                                                                  goes through the Suez Canal, and would avoid more dangerous, pirate-ridden regions on this
and have successfully integrated all of their sales channels, smaller players have not
                                                                                                  same route off the coast of Africa.
been able to afford the multimillion pound price tag associated with fully integrated,
                                                                                                      “The opening of the Northern Sea Route to container shipping would modify the
multichannel retailing. With the new CIMS e-Commerce Portal solution, Prologic makes
                                                                                                  geography of large international commercial shipping routes. The time it takes to travel
this functionality accessible and affordable to the mid-market for the first time. A              from Northern Asian centres of production to consumer markets in Europe and in Northern
spokesman for Ted Baker commented: “Many of the e-commerce solutions in use today                 America would also be reduced, likely reinforcing the commercial relations between the
have little functionality beyond a shop window, with limited merchandising capabilities.     
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