News Release

5th March 2001

LINE acquires leading UK-based transportation management specialist


Hong Kong, 5 March 2001: LINE – Logistics Information Network Enterprise Limited has acquired Cambridge-based Cairo Technologies, a transport-management software specialist. LINE plans to launch a new product using proprietary technology developed by Cairo that will reduce inland freight transport costs by more than 10%. LINE is a Hutchison Port Holdings subsidiary, which aims to streamline the transport and logistics industry using technology.

Cairo was founded in 1993 by a group of Oxford and Cambridge University graduates and has developed a transport management system that optimizes freight capacity usage and transport costs. The new product, Transport Management System (TMS), will allow businesses to boost efficiency and cut costs by improving transport planning processes and asset utilization. The solution is multi-modal, covering rail, barge and road transport. It facilitates truck-load matching, route plan optimization and online cargo tracking. Transport Management System enables fast responses to new circumstances and allows transport managers to change plans while goods are in transit – deciding new routes and calculating costs at every step.

“More than 40% of the trucks on Europe’s roads are traveling empty,” said Aaron Mak, Chief Executive Officer of LINE. “There is enormous room for improvement to better utilize the assets and raise operating efficiency. Transport Management System will enable the transport industry to match loads and plan routes efficiently so that empty mileage is significantly reduced. This is an exciting acquisition for LINE that will bring tremendous benefits and cost savings to the transport and logistics industry.”

Cairo employs a team of mathematicians and software development specialists at its base in Great Chesterford near Cambridge. They will form the European research and development center for LINE, working on a broad range of technologically enabled solutions for the logistics industry.

“LINE is a great fit for Cairo,” said Colin Francis, Cairo founder and Managing Director. “Our product ranges are complementary and we share a very clear vision of the ways in which new technologies will shape the highly fragmented transport and logistics sector by delivering higher efficiency.”

Transport Management System will deploy “intelligent learning technology” algorithms and is already configured for 18 countries in Western Europe and the United States. Asian markets will be added later in the year and during 2002.

Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH), the world’s leading port operator and part of the Hutchison Whampoa Group launched LINE as in March 2000. HPH operates 19 ports, including Felixstowe, Harwich and Thamesport.