Don-UPSGlobal trade can be a daunting task, especially keeping up with countless, complex, and continuously changing security and trade regulations, agreements, and programs. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), Importer Security Filing (AKA: “10 + 2”), 24-Hour Rule, Preferential Trade Agreements, Customs Self-Assessments, Denied Party Screening, Container Security Initiative, Electronic Export Information just to name a few! Additionally, you must ensure consistent, accurate, and timely customs clearance and work with your broker/forwarder in a timely manner to minimize delays.

UPS LogoIn recent years, government security and compliance initiatives are forcing companies to re-evaluate their supply chain. Importers and exporters are facing what appear to be insurmountable challenges. The most successful companies will recognize these security and compliance challenges as opportunities to differentiate themselves. The competitive environment requires global trade compliance (GTC) to take a more significant role in strategic planning and decision-making.

A study conducted by the Aberdeen Group examined the GTC practices of 340 global importers and exports. The study classifies companies into three groups (i.e., Best-in-Class, Industry Average, or Laggard).

In regards to technology, Aberdeen’s Best-in-Class are noticeably more likely to report a higher level of automation:

• Document generation
• Communications/document exchange with their brokers and forwarders
• Customs management
• Supplier evaluation and surveying
• Access to trade-related information such as preferential trade agreements, duties, taxes, landed cost
• Restricted/denied party screening
• Export license determination and management
• Automated training tools

Bottom line: how well you overcome global compliance challenges will ultimately determine your competitive advantage.