Current Issues

Regular Industry Development Updates, Opinions and Talking Points relating to Manufacturing, the Supply Chain and Logistics.

Is digitisation the key to preventing cross-border landed costs from disrupting international ecommerce?

How ecommerce organisations can ride the storm of uncertainty to international retail success.

21-Jun-2019
Is digitisation the key to preventing cross-border landed costs from disrupting international ecommerce?
UK ecommerce businesses currently shipping to the EU (and vice-versa) need to prepare for the forthcoming split from the single market – or so is the latest thinking. As geopolitical factors such as these drive changes within international trade regulations, it has become nearly impossible for organisations to effectively ensure compliance. It has also become more costly than ever as penalties for denied-party infractions, for example, reach record levels. Not to mention consumer confidence in international ecommerce retailers.

To date international air-to-final-mile has been a winning combination for ecommerce – and across many European countries this includes train/truck/van-to-final-mile. However, as Sweden witnessed in Spring 2018, a new value-added-tax (VAT) on all postal items arriving from non-E.U. countries caused wide-spread disruption and over 400,000 refused packages as consumers were presented with an additional fee on delivery (so called landed costs) that they had no prior visibility of.

Without a trade agreement in place, a similar scenario could easily arise across the EU, in particular as the EU Commission is set to abolish a current exemption on VAT for ecommerce imports valued at less than €22. The impacts are potentially far-reaching. Consumer costs will undoubtedly increase as vendors will be required to pay increased duties and taxes, and without visibility of these costs provided accurately at checkout, it could lead to a mass ‘return to sender’ scenario where packages are rejected at the last mile of delivery. Research shows that 93% of consumers will not make an online purchase without full visibility of estimated import costs, plus delivery: being unprepared and unaware of the duties isn’t an option for organisations who want to continue to sell internationally.

With uncertainty mounting, there is an urgent need for logistics and supply chain professionals to have a more comprehensive understanding of current and potential international trade developments due to the likely impact on global sourcing, infrastructure and operations. The good news is that utilising global trade content — solutions packed with everything from the latest import and export data down to the bill of lading, to databases for international trade regulations, rulings and duties — can help companies gain greater visibility and confidence within their trade operations.

Realising New Opportunities

Any check-out process for goods that will be delivered outside their customs territory should, by default, use the Harmonised Item Description and Coding System to identify a product’s HS code and combine that with delivery destination to provide the full cost information consumers require to make a purchase decision.

In a sector where customers can come from virtually anywhere in the world, this global trade content helps ecommerce companies remain compliant with international trade agreements and avoid business transactions with restricted parties. To do so, many companies are loading duty and tax data, as well as sanctioned-party lists, directly into the back end of their shopping carts to provide accuracy and transparency around potential landed costs.

Global trade content is also beneficial in helping ecommerce companies better manage against difficult and costly cross-border returns. By disclosing duty and tax rates upfront during checkout, international customers understand the true cost of sale and are less likely to reject a shipment due to unexpected fees.

Giving customers visibility of these otherwise hidden costs is not only key to realising new market opportunities, however. It also provides an opportunity for competitive differentiation, particularly with items that consumers can purchase from multiple ecommerce vendors. Giving a potential customer visibility of the item cost, plus separate shipping costs – even shipping options – can add positively to the overall customer experience by positioning yourself as a trusted and transparent retail partner.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that global trade uncertainty is set to stay – at least for the foreseeable future. However, this is no reason for domestic businesses to shy away from international expansion. Nor is it a reason for ecommerce retailers operating internationally to consider battening down the hatches. On the contrary, those organisations who are set up properly and are harnessing global trade data within their sales and fulfilment processes, will not only reduce risk; they have the opportunity to positively differentiate themselves and gain international competitive advantage.

Sian Hopwood
SVP B2B Operations, BluJay Solutions
Black Friday - Can the Supply Chain Survive?

Sian told SUPPLY CHAIN TIMES why she believes businesses could reap the rewards if their supply chains are up to scratch

Craig Summers
UK Managing Director, Manhattan Associates
October retail figures signal a competitive seasonal hire market

Craig commented on recent data compiled by the British Retail Consortium and KPMG, showing rise in value of retail sales in October 2019 vs Oct. 2018

David Griffiths
Senior Product Marketing & Strategy Manager, Adjuno
Black Friday: more than a bargain

David explains why Black Friday has to become more than just a bargain-hunting game for consumers

Hilary Rundle
Director, Bis Henderson Recruitment
Five Key Questions on Gender Diversity In The Supply Chain

The corporate world may be actively pursuing initiatives to improve gender diversity within senior management teams, but progress appears slow.

Martin Ford
Senior Vice President United Kingdom & APAC, GTT
Agility in response to uncertainty is the key for UK business competitiveness

British businesses can still prepare for the future and improve both productivity and competitiveness

Craig Summers
Managing Director, Manhattan Associates
Finding the Profit in Personalisation

Personalisation is nothing new, however, it's something that many organisations fail to get right, particularly when it comes to the basics.

Michael Meizer
Area VP, EMEA Solutions & Professional Services, E2open
How will 5G affect the supply chain?

Will faster, more responsive and agile 5G connectivity represent an upgrade or a gamechanger for supply chains?

Andy Kaye
CEO, Bis Henderson Group
Risks over Brexit raise need for skilled Interim Supply Chain Executives

"Even if the UK finally leaves the European Union on 31 October, the bad news is, that isn’t the end"

Craig Summers
UK Managing Director, Manhattan Associates
What does AI really mean for retailers?

Craig warns against falling for AI gimmicks, how to leverage AI to its full potential, promote predictability & deliver a greater customer experience

Steve Richmond
Director Logistics Systems, Jungheinrich UK
Automation is the foundation for intelligent intralogistics

From anticipatory logistics to blockchain & connectivity through to Internet of Things (IoT), Steve considers the future of intelligent intralogistics

Ian Hall
COO, Atheon Analytics
7 things to plan in September to get right in grocery retail

Pragmatic, real-world & data-driven advice to help prevent grocery retailers & suppliers from making avoidable mistakes and missed sales at Christmas

Pól Sweeney
Vice President of UK Sales and Business Management, Descartes
Taking a smart approach to dock appointment scheduling

Pól outlines the transformation in the speed and responsiveness of DC operations - critical for ‘just in time’ supply chain

Alex Saric
Smart Procurement Expert, Ivalua
The business impact of the new PM’s approach

Smart procurement expert Alex Saric warns that businesses trading with the EU need to urgently review supply chain operations ahead of Brexit

Guy Cuthbert
CEO, Atheon Analytics
Bring clarity of purpose to fixing food waste

Identifying the impact that waste has on sales margin and customer perception, and looking at the steps we can take to reduce total waste

David Griffiths
Senior Product Marketing & Strategy Manager, Adjuno
Putting your brand in the hands of AI

Entrusting data and brand values to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning could prove to be your hero, not your villain.

Andreas Koenig
CEO, ProGlove
Wearable Technology - bringing data to the user and unlocking worker potential

The rise of the machine is fuelling essential discussions about the future role of workers – not least within logistics

Mike Thornton
Head of Manufacturing , RSM
UK manufacturing downturn mirrors other developed economies

Commenting on the latest results from the Markit/CIPS PMI manufacturing survey

Paul Croft
Director, 3DGBIRE
Taking the Hype out of the Innovation Cycle

From disrupting supply chains to rethinking material use and ending over-engineering, innovation is gaining pace.

John Perry
Managing Director, SCALA
Companies lose millions by side-lining procurement teams, research shows

SCALA surveyed a selection of the UK’s best-known businesses and 3PLs

Richard Seel
Managing Director Supply Chain & Logistics, Delaware
Meeting the Challenge of Supply Chain Efficiency – How Manufacturers Can Achieve their Goals

The process of building efficient sustainable supply chains is becoming increasingly difficult, manufacturers must ensure they don’t fall behind.

Olivier Binet
Managing Director International Markets, InPost
How to build sustainability into last mile deliveries

Why streamlined delivery is at the heart of a green supply chain

Ron Volpe
Global Vice President Apps Business Development, Tradeshift
Under-Pressure Retailers Turn to D2C to Level the Playing Field

‘Retail apocalypse’ continues to ravage the high street - 2,700 closed UK Retailers in 2018

Craig Summers
UK Managing Director, Manhattan Associates
Margin Erosion is turning the spotlight on the Warehouse

Craig explains how the next generation of warehouse operations will not only halt margin erosion but deliver new levels of retail profitability.

Simon Runc
Principal Visual Analyst, Atheon Analytics
Unlocking the Value in Data

The Science of Visualisation

Steve Purvis
Operations Director, Bis Henderson Space
Brexit Uncertainty Highlights Need for Flexible Logistics Strategy

Reassessing the balance of risk to supply chains and the potential horrors of trying to find well-located warehouse space

Alan Gunner
Business Development Director, Adjuno
Starting at the source: achieving a sustainable supply chain

Alan outlines why the key is for organisations to take control and focus on achieving full visibility

Craig Summers
UK Managing Director, Manhattan Associates
Conquering Connected Commerce

From the omnichannel dream to the retail reality, paving the way for future prosperity

Mark Jolley
EMEA Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics Solutions Sales Lead, Zebra Technologies
Augmented Reality is becoming a Retail Reality

4 ways this advanced technology is improving the shopping experience

Craig Summers
UK Managing Director, Manhattan Associates
The Cost of Doing Nothing

Retailers that continue to innovate, listen to their customers and invest in technology will reap the rewards;

Sam Ireland
International Marketing Manager, Loftware
Are You Navigating Global UDI Compliance?

If so, you won't won't want to miss this year’s European UDI Forum, taking place in Brussels, April 24-25

Stephen Cameron
Business Development Director, SWRnewstar
How the Resource and Waste Strategy Can Empower Industry

The DEFRA’s Resource and Waste Strategy sets out to reduce waste, get businesses to place sustainability higher up the priority list

David Jinks MILT
Head of Consumer Research, ParcelHero
No more fashion victims - retailers will flock to copy ASOS’ returns clampdown

ASOS’ new crackdown on ‘wardrobing’ will be replicated by most stores, says ParcelHero

Georgia Leybourne
Senior Director International Marketing, Manhattan Associates
Are we embracing the profit potential of the over 50s?

Far more demanding in their retail habits, more likely to invest in big ticket items, much more money to spend vs the younger generation.

Jon Moody
Chief Executive Officer, SSG Insight
The Future of Supply Chain Management

SSG Insight CEO Jon Moody discusses the importance of adopting a digital supply chain in a post Brexit Britain and Industry 4.0

David Luttenberger
Global Packaging Director, Mintel
Mintel announces top global packaging trends for 2019 and beyond

Mintel, the world’s leading market intelligence agency, has today announced four trends impacting the global packaging industry in 2019 and beyond

Andrew Tavener
Head of Marketing, Descartes UK
Compliance Management – it’s time for joined up thinking

How joined-up approach to compliance data transforms the overhead & provides insight that can deliver additional efficiencies throughout the business

Stephen Cameron
Business Development Director, SWRnewstar
Primark's move to 100 per cent sustainably sourced cotton should be commended

Primark is one of the latest retailers to announce new measures to become more sustainable by launching 100% sustainably sourced cotton jeans.

Marc Corriveau
Account Manager, Loftware
Changes in packaging result in ROI for F&B products

If you work for a food and beverage company, you may have noticed something about your competitors

John Perry
Managing Director, SCALA
Why an extension is best for British businesses

It is likely that the prime minister will now have to request a long extension to article 50 at Thursday's Brussels summit

Will Broome
CEO, Ubamarket
Increasing competition in the digital age will be beneficial for the high street

Increasing competition regulation during the digital age will not only be beneficial for consumers

David Jinks MILT
Head of Consumer Research, ParcelHero
Booking a courier? No printer required, says ParcelCompare

It’s a common misconception that a printer is essential when booking a courier pick-up.

John Perry
Managing Director, SCALA
Why an extension is best for food and drink businesses

Given that the Brexit referendum was only advisory, not in any way binding, there have really always been four potential outcomes open to us

Graham Parker
CEO, Gravity Supply Chain Solutions
Mitigating The Risks Of Trade Wars And Tariffs

As trade wars heat up, businesses need to protect their profit margins from increased tariffs.

Sam Ireland
International Marketing Manager, Loftware
How Brexit Will Impact Supply Chain Labeling?

The clock is ticking for the United Kingdom and European Union to finalize plans for the UK’s departure from the EU.

Sid Holian
Managing Director, Bis Henderson Consulting
Three critical steps to a hi-tech, agile supply chain

Retailers are facing a new reality and as a consequence supply chains must change.

Manu Tyagi
Associate Partner, Retail and Consumer Goods, Infosys Consulting
M&S and Ocado have signed a £750 million deal to take M&S groceries into the home delivery market

M&S’ deal with Ocado marks the high street retailer’s continued fight for survival, as it enters into the home delivery game.

Olivier Frère
Serialisaton Expert, Zetes
Understanding the Tobacco Products Directive

In a recent report issued by KPMG it was estimated that last year, counterfeit and contraband cigarette consumption was 8.7 % of total use in the EU

Dan Brown
Corporate Sector Director, SWRnewstar
Mind the gap: how the transport sector can meet targets to reduce avoidable waste

UK train companies are forever warning us to ‘Mind the Gap’.

Paul Heiden
Senior Vice President of Product Management, Ultimaker
6 overlooked benefits of 3D printing for your supply chain

Year on year, 3D printing is becoming more capable.