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CUSTOMER STORY

British American Tobacco

To deliver on their purpose of a Better Tomorrowglobal shipper British American Tobacco (BAT) needed to simplify their complex supply chain and consolidate their tenders. 

The Challenge: Managing freight spend and inefficiencies with a growing, global supply chain

 

BAT Boost Global Logistics Procurement Strategy and Streamlines Tender Process with Xeneta 

Shipping more than 65,000 TEU annually, BAT faced significant high costs and inefficient processes due to the increasing complexity across their supply chain and complicated contract negotiations. Their procurement operations, spanning every corner of the globe, had grown so decentralized, it was impossible for the team to effectively manage their freight strategy. Manually overseeing so many different prices, timelines and service levels meant that simply getting their cargo where it needed to be had become a huge challenge for the entire organization. 

Before anything truly damaging happened to their supply chain, BAT knew they needed to make a change. Rather than blindly entering supplier negotiations, what would happen if they put data at the center of their supply chain? But not just any data—the world’s largest dataset of real-time and on-demand ocean and air freight rates. And so, a partnership between BAT and Xeneta was born. 

“Our team has become so much more efficient and productive now that we’re connected to the market through Xeneta. With trusted data at our fingertips, we have eliminated the stress of the unknown. There’s no more silent pressure internally on cost, budget or negotiations. A lack of knowledge and strategy created tension both within BAT and for our partners, causing everything to move slowly. Integrating Xeneta’s data and platform into all our processes has created immediate added value—now, we’re able to put our resources into optimizing our decisions and building a solid market strategy.” - Mauricio Cantisani, Global Category Procurement Manager, British American Tobacco 

 

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The Story: In 2021, as so many other logistics teams continued to struggle with the impact of the pandemic, newly signed Xeneta customer BAT approached their carrier negotiations with granular market intelligence for the first time. They knew the average market rates for their power lanes, their current rates and market position, and that the significant difference in between those needed to close to meet their goals. 

Expecting another lengthy, complicated negotiation process, BAT was overjoyed to experience the opposite once Xeneta was brought to the table. By utilizing the Carrier Spread feature, BAT narrowed down their carrier selection and championed a more holistic strategy—prioritizing more than just the lowest rates (which they’d previously struggled to achieve). For BAT, service levels are equally as important when moving their cargo, and with Xeneta, they finally had the breathing room and data-backed leverage to bring that metric to the negotiation table. 

Not only did they have the truth of the market on their side, but carriers were finally willing to listen. Instead of being forced in one direction by their suppliers, the equal playing field of unbiased data allowed for fair, quick decisions. 

Fast forward three years: using Xeneta data as a baseline, BAT have now considerably decreased freight spend (close to 40% on some critical high-volume lanes), and lowered time wasted in negotiations by over 30%.  

“We were able to change our entire freight strategy—using core features like the Tender Benchmark Tool and Carrier Spread to invest more time into strategic procurement. Instead of having a huge number of carriers and being cost-focused alone, we shifted practices to find the best carrier and cost.” - Mauricio Cantisani, Global Category Procurement Manager, British American Tobacco 

After this initial success, BAT began to drastically shift their market position. With less renegotiation and more stable, optimized rates, their team achieved a significant, prolonged decrease in freight spend. This allowed them to reallocate budget, build lasting carrier relationships, and secure optimal schedule reliability across all geographies. 

 

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The Solution: Presently, this newfound focus has manifested itself into a three-year plan for strategic procurement, with Xeneta as one of the core elements. 

For 2024, BAT identified three key metrics—pricing, CO2 emissions, and transit time—as pivotal factors influencing tender decisions. Leveraging Xeneta’s Carbon Emissions Index (CEI), which enables BAT to monitor the carbon emissions of major carriers across 48 global trade lanes, has been key. After just a few months, the CEI became instrumental in ensuring BAT entered contracts based not only on cost and transit time, but also environmental impact. 

This approach aligns with BAT's strategy to favor eco-friendly carriers, contributing to the reduction of their carbon footprint. The inclusion of CO2 emissions within their key metrics underscores BAT's commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. 

“Xeneta is famous internally at BAT, not just because of the savings, but because it’s reformed our Global Marine Tender strategy on every level.” - Mauricio Cantisani, Global Category Procurement Manager, British American Tobacco 

With an increased agility in the market and lowered costs, BAT quantifies this success through regular, Xeneta-centric internal reports for key senior stakeholders. Currently in the process of building a Control Tower using Xeneta data, BAT aims to measure their performance continually and automatically against industry benchmarks. Through Xeneta, they know that aligning their global team around one trusted source will lead them to success. 

For BAT, Xeneta has become a vital partner in continuously strengthening the resilience and efficiency of their global supply chain. 

Xeneta helps BAT to effectively manage the ocean freight spend every day. More importantly, with the use of Xeneta data, we’re confident we’re putting our budget into the right decisions.
Mauricio Cantisani

Global Category Procurement Manager

About British American Tobacco

BAT, also known as British American Tobacco p.l.c. is a multinational corporation headquartered in London. Established in 1902, it specializes in the production and distribution of cigarettes, tobacco, and various nicotine-related products. In terms of net sales, BAT holds the title of the world's largest tobacco company as of 2021. Shipping more than 65,000 TEU annually - BAT is a leader in global shipping and distribution in the Tobacco sector.

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