This case study delves into how WNS deployed its document digitization platform and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-led unstructured data extraction and contextualization platform to help Metro Shipping navigate Brexit customs clearance.

As we know…

The regulatory and commercial landscape of the UK underwent a significant transformation due to Brexit, leading to profound implications for consignments and cargo entering and departing the country. Consequently, customs clearance requirements became more complex, hindering the seamless flow of goods and services and resulting in a substantial surge in paperwork.

Therefore, the digitization of logistics documentation has become paramount. An automated and scalable workflow system with data ingestion and extraction capabilities is the need of the hour for shipping and logistics companies. Coupled with an intelligent algorithm to contextualize information, it can significantly enhance efficiency and accuracy.

Client Testimonial

“Metro Shipping has always been a technology-first organization and we see WNS as an important partner in ensuring we offer modern and sustainable solutions to our customers. Brexit was a very uncertain time for everyone. However, pre-empting the transition of UK customs from CHIEF to CDS, Metro built an API based on the EU-CDM, namely CuDoS. This was presented to the WNS technical team with the challenge of digitizing the pdfs we receive from our customers and their supply chain partners. The WNS team quickly understood the challenge and had the perfect solution in Malkom. Working closely with both technical and operational colleagues, WNS responded excellently to change and complexity and was able to meet all deadlines ready for go live, which was January 01, 2021. The go-live period was managed effectively with daily calls, eventually extending to weekly to what is now a monthly review. We are now investigating other areas of our business where Malkom and WNS can assist us and would have no hesitation in recommending them.”

Technical Solutions Director, Metro Shipping


The challenge for Metro Shipping was…

Navigating post-Brexit customs regulations, which exponentially increased the volume of documentation. Consequently, the client had to allocate additional resources to complete customs formalities, resulting in a longer Turnaround Time (TAT).

This delay had a cascading effect on the supply chain, impacting sales and increasing transportation costs. Furthermore, the backlog caused congestion at ports, exacerbating costs and impeding the client’s ability to meet Service-level Agreements (SLA). The client also needed to complete formalities quickly to safely transport perishable goods within a short window. Notably, manual processes contributed to further delays due to inadvertent errors.

As a co-creation partner…

WNS Triange, our AI, analytics, data and research practice, leveraged industry expertise and proprietary AI / Machine Learning (ML) capabilities to co-create a solution tailored to the client’s customs clearance needs.

Powered by Triange NxT, the platform-centric pillar of WNS Triange, we introduced our hyperautomation platform, WNS Malkom, as a comprehensive document digitization solution.

To further enhance the functionality of Malkom, we integrated SKENSE, our AI-led data extraction and contextualization platform. This amalgamation of Malkom's highly intuitive user interface and data ingestion functionality with SKENSE's document management and processing capabilities enabled us to provide the client with a comprehensive digital solution.

SKENSE harnesses Generative AI capabilities, offering impressive functionality and flexibility. It can be easily hosted on multiple cloud environments, including AWS, Azure and GCP, as well as on-premises infrastructure.

Key aspects of the solution included:

  • Real-time data ingestion facilitated by custom connectors / Application Programming Interfaces (API)
  • (Support for) Multiple formats, such as digital files, flat files and images
  • Automated processing of complex and unstructured data formats
  • Customizable business rules, AI / ML models and ontologies for accurate contextualization
  • Built-in workflow and visualization capabilities for seamless operations
  • Self-service features empowering users with flexibility and control
  • Feedback loop for gaining insights, addressing challenges and enabling continuous improvements
  • Auditable trail with search capabilities for historical data
  • Target system integration to facilitate downstream processing
  • Serverless deployment of ML models, ensuring high availability and automatic scaling
  • Auto-model updates to minimize manual intervention through periodic re-training using the Champion-Challenger model
  • Auto quality checks on output, utilizing validation / business rules or comparison with reference data; enabling straight-through processing if all fields are correct
  • Integrated decision engines and analytical models, offering end-to-end process automation

In addition to its sophisticated cognitive data extraction and contextualization platform, WNS provided Metro Shipping with various benefits, including zero upfront cost, a pay-per-use model and contractually guaranteed performance.

WNS’ AI solution enabled Metro Shipping to…

Manage over 1500 import / export declarations and Transit Accompanying Documents (TAD) on a weekly basis, catering to an average of 50-60 clients per week. In the process, we digitized 200 declarations per day while extracting an average of 40 fields per declaration. This automated and scalable system helped the client handle sudden spikes in volume.

Embedding Malkom in the customs declaration process transformed the client’s administrative operations, resulting in significant business outcomes. Key benefits included:


improvement in TAT


enhancement in data accuracy


reduction in resources while handling a 25 percent increase in volumes

The SKENSE-powered digital solution enabled the client to meet its imperatives of speed and efficiency while navigating the complex post-Brexit customs clearance process using shipping automation.

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