After going through a period of rapid expansion, China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) wanted to optimise management of working capital and liquidity. With help from Citi, the treasury team at CSCL were able to improve the visibility of cash balances and transform the treasury function into a highly automated, efficient department.
Ms. Rong Li
Deputy General Manager, Finance Department, China Shipping Container Lines
Founded in 1997, China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) is one of the world’s largest integrated international container transportation, logistics and terminal companies. The company operates nearly 80 international and domestic trade routes with a service network that covers Chinese coastal areas and major trade regions in Asia, Europe, America, Africa and the Persian Gulf.
As a flagship state-owned business, China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) has experienced rapid growth in recent years, and has a strong commitment to financial integrity and transparency. Consequently, group treasury was seeking to enhance its financial reporting in order to achieve more timely, accurate and complete access to cash flow and balance information globally. “By doing so, the company would be able to plan cash and liquidity decisions with more confidence, analyse cash flow trends effectively, and reduce the cost and resources required for financial reporting,” says Ms. Rong Li, Deputy General Manager, Finance Department, China Shipping Container Lines Co. Ltd. These objectives were particularly challenging bearing in mind that few solutions in mainland China provide cash flow forecasting capabilities.
CSCL has had a highly successful partnership with Citi for more than a decade, including cash collections and cross-border cash pooling for its entities in more than 40 countries. Based on this experience, the company recognised Citi’s expertise in delivering flexible and robust cash and liquidity management solutions, and innovative technology.
CSCL’s treasury therefore decided to expand the relationship with Citi to implement TreasuryVision®, including its cash flow forecasting module. “We are the first company in mainland China to do so. The solution covers accounts with Citi globally, including accounts held with third-party banks during subsequent project phases. Not only does TreasuryVision® support CSCL’s cash visibility and forecasting objectives, the solution was more cost-effective than treasury management or ERP solutions,” explains Ms. Rong Li.
With TreasuryVision®, CSCL now has timely, accurate and complete visibility over its cash positions and fund movements. Information can be consolidated at different levels, from group level through to individual business segments, regions and business units. Cash flow forecasting capabilities are supplemented with a variety of advanced analysis tools such as variance analysis, what-if calculations and stress testing, and workflow tools such as personalised alerts of account movements. As treasury no longer has to produce this information manually, the risk of error or omission is eliminated, resourcing requirements are greatly reduced, and information can be produced quickly and in a flexible format.
“Implementing Citi’s TreasuryVision has been a vital step in transforming our treasury function into a highly automated, efficient department that will position the company for future international growth. With greater visibility and insights into current and future cash flows, we are now in a position to manage liquidity and risk in an efficient and cost-effective way,” says Ms. Rong Li.