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Express Migration for Expeditors


Expeditors of Washington, Inc. (NASDASQ: EXPD) is a global logistics company headquartered in Seattle, Washington. The company provides comprehensive logistics services to address import, export, freight management and information technology, for a total supply chain solution. The company has professionals in 150 offices and 13 international service centers located on six continents – all linked into a seamless worldwide network through an integrated information management system.


Expeditors had relied on the HP e3000 business server for over 15 years. The company was eager to convert three of its mission-critical legacy applications to UNIX before 2006, when HP would be terminating support for the server. It was crucial, however, that Expeditors identify a solution that would enable it to easily migrate without interrupting its business, losing any data, or impacting IT priorities. It also wanted to migrate these applications to UNIX in order to enjoy the benefits of an open systems environment. In addition, Expeditors needed to ensure that the converted applications would continue to interface with systems and third-party software.

During a typical day, hundreds of thousands of transactions are exchanged between interconnected systems around the world. Approximately 10 million lines of code on 150 geographically dispersed HP e3000 machines needed to be converted. In addition, the company had servers with TurboIMAGE, which would not be easily converted without a tool that could automate this process.


Expeditors was looking for a solution that could help reduce the cost and risks associated with transitioning to a new environment. As well, it wanted to prolong the lifetime of its application, and safeguard its investments. The company conducted many evaluations and considered rewriting or reengineering, but decided against these options because it believed them to be too risky, expensive and time-consuming. It also felt that it if selected any of these options, it would be incapable of completing the project before HP’s end-of-support date.

Expeditors chose AMXW (Automatic Migration to UNIX and Windows), as it is the most comprehensive solution on the market today to migrate third-generation language applications and a variety of database types to open environments. The company received some training, and within a week, Expeditors’ in-house staff was on its way. All of Expeditors’ code remained on-site, as the company was eager to protect its valuable data.


Expeditors was able to migrate all of its code — more than 10 million lines — in six months. This was accomplished in a completely automated fashion at the rate of 2 million lines in 3 hours. The migration effort ported all its programs and databases to a UNIX-based platform using DB2 databases.

With AMXW’s automated conversion, Expeditors was able to complete the conversion one full year earlier than would have been required using an alternative method. After migrating the applications with AMXW, Expeditors’ system was very MPE-like, and it will be able to easily transition the company’s technical staff to support the new environment in numerous local, regional and international service centers around the world.

Since AMXW is platform-independent, Expeditors was able to protect its investments. The company now enjoys extended flexibility so it can add other web-based applications, interface with legacy applications with ease, and migrate effortlessly down the road, one module — or one application at a time.

“We have been extremely pleased with the AMXW product. We chose it as it is the most complete tool available for emulating MPE in both application interfaces and execution environments. Plus, it seamlessly integrates with other tools.”

Lori Fritz, Expeditors
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