Looking back, from 2000 years ago, technological evolution has been and continues to shape and redefine international trade. We have moved from the traditional consideration of time and reduced cost for global supply chain managers to the evaluation of time, cost and compliance.
With the increased customs regulations and requirements to fulfil, it has become extremely difficult to manage global logistics manually. With manual logistics and supply chain process management, a lot of time would be wasted, not to talk about the expenses.
Uncertain times such as the advent of Covid-19 presented the need for online processes. Even though tracking software and inventory management systems have been in use for a long time, many global logistics companies and consumers didn’t realize their value until Covid -19 hit.
Today, software is more of a need-based necessity rather than a value-based option. Global logistics companies can now track import and export orders from source to destination in real-time. Importers are also witnessing a wide range of technological advancements in global logistics.
From route planning to artificial and augmented intelligence, global logistics have seen a massive transformation, challenging service providers to match the pace or fall behind their competitors. Even more challenging is the fact that customers have been exposed to the technology already.
Failing to stay ahead of technology means losing to your competitors as importers and exporters are looking for the optimal means of getting their commodities to their destination, plus researchers and innovators also need IOR service providers to lend a helping hand.
But how can IORs benefit the technology sector? This article discusses how the technology sector can benefit from IOR service providers. But before then, what are some of the notable advancements in global logistics?
The fast-paced technological advancements have seen a rapid shift from manual operations to automation based on machine learning, artificial intelligence, and advanced analytics. The entire global supply chain has experienced the revolution in various ways as detailed here.
Gone are the days when importers would pick any shipping route of choice depending on the budget without considering the implications of their choice. Smart routing is AI-based software that integrates with inventory management and uses a predictive model to determine the optimal route for your shipment.
You can choose the optimal routing based on the following aspects:
• Cost: Routes are indicated from the cheapest to the most expensive with the distances from the source to the destination indicated.
• Carriers- only the client-approved carriers are availed in the system, depending on the client’s selection criteria.
• Transport mode and service level: The cost of the mode versus the transit time and expected challenges are indicated.
Most smart routes integrate with e-shipment and the bill of lading functionalities to enable the shipper to easily book a shipment and generate the bill of lading.
Traditional shipping only allowed you to load your cargo onto the shipping vessel, then remain in the dark, not knowing when your shipment is expected to arrive. In case of any delays, it was difficult to figure out and you would experience a sigh of relief when you finally learn of your good’s arrival.
Thanks to advanced analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning (ML), and Artificial Intelligence (AI). With milestone tracking, you can observe your goods from source to destination, knowing the exact location, expected disruptions and expected arrival time.
Notably, there’s increased productivity in optimizing the delivery time and minimizing risks involved in transportation with machine learning technologies. Plus, isn’t it fulfilling to know that you are updated with every detail of your shipment leaving no worries of shipment failure?
For instance, using google analytics and machine learning, you can determine the probability of equipment failure when transporting refrigerated goods by analyzing the environmental changes and weather conditions.
Failures associated with a failure in the means of transport can also be determined by analyzing situations such as traffic and damage.
Blockchain technology has established a high level of audit rail compared to electronic record keeping and traditional email. Companies can document the custody of goods throughout the supply chain with the help of track and trace applications, facilitated by blockchain technology.
Track and trace applications also help operators build detailed profiles for suppliers and categorize them based on their attributes. Traditionally, operators would only retrieve such information from electronic records which were difficult to look up.
Supplier’s information is now easier to retrieve, process and authenticate. Information such as insurance certifications and the status of compliance can easily be retrieved and processed in real-time through centralized data frameworks, complemented by advanced analytics, making it easy to update the supplier’s profile.
By optimizing the audit rail, importers and logistics partners gain the advantage of a quick inspection in the destination country as you can achieve the following:
• Create transparency around sourcing
• Demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements
• Identify counterfeit items and fraud
• Prevent inconsistencies in communication
• Identify at-risk suppliers
Inarguably, the inspection and evaluation process can be arduous in the destination since the safety of imported goods to consumers remain a critical consideration within the regulatory authorities.
Even worse, in times of crisis, the restrictions become tighter, and more regulations are imposed. Without the help of software such as dedicated customer compliance portals and track and trace applications, a lot of time and money would be wasted, failing the importation process.
It’s easy to underestimate the role of IOR in the fast-paced technological advancements when moving IT equipment within a country. But what happens when you must move that equipment into a different country with varying customs regulations, restrictions, and requirements?
Moving IT equipment from one country to another is a complex process. You must explain what you are moving, the source country, the destination country, and why the movement is necessary.
Sometimes the equipment may involve moving parts from different vendors, which can complicate the compliance process if the IOR is not well-versed in such situations.
You have invested hours of research and finally invented an application that can benefit the global population. But do you have the necessary licenses for use in a different country? Have you met the customs requirements and prepared the documentation and feedback?
IOR can benefit the technology sector in the following ways:
Before initiating the shipment of your IT equipment, you must be aware of the customs laws and regulations of the equipment, fees, taxes, expected documentation and permits concerning the equipment.
Although there are dedicated compliance portals that are already operational for some countries, obtaining some licenses and the importation requirements in some countries can be challenging. Hence, IOR can be valuable in obtaining the requirements and ensuring compliance with legal regulations.
In addition, reputable IORs such as Blackthorne have an undeniable wealth of experience handling multi-vendor equipment. You don’t want to waste your valuable time and money figuring out the certifications, licenses, and related requirements for your equipment.
IORs can help with the requirements gathering, payment of taxes, duties, and fees, and ensure your equipment is compliant with the customs laws and regulations, making the importation faster and safe.
If you are moving your equipment to a data centre abroad, you need help with the installation of the equipment, especially if you don’t have staff residing in the destination country or lack the IT expertise in configuring and ensuring a safe installation.
Also, you may need repairs, auditing of the equipment for safety compliance, and other maintenance procedures. While some of the procedures can be completed online, others demand your presence on-site.
IORs can take the physical presence off your shoulders by helping with the maintenance and support procedures whenever needed.
However, only a few IORs deal with IT equipment installation, maintenance, and support. Blackthorne’s Cisco-certified IT engineers are distributed internationally and are available to help, whether on-site or online.
Maintenance services include redeployment, upgrading to the latest hardware or software, license renewal, periodic inspection, and quality assurance procedures.
IOR can also offer consulting services and keep you updated with change requests. Over time, the government may introduce new requirements or impose new policies that affect your data centre, which is part of the compliance requirement.
Failure to comply may incur fees or the operationalization of your equipment or the data centre can be limited. Hence, working with IOR is invaluable.
The fast-paced technology is undoubtedly rewriting the story of international trade, through the global supply chain technological revolution.
Interestingly, while IOR, global logistics service providers and global supply chain managers rely on innovations for automation and improved business processes, the innovators and technology providers are also relying on IOR for equipment transportation.
It is expected that more regulations will be imposed as the technological revolutions continue and that the importation process becomes easier with the introduction of software and tools that support online business processes. But even then, IOR service providers remain invaluable in global fulfilment.
If you are looking for an established IOR to help with your importation needs, then Blackthorne is your go-to partner. Blackthorne has established a legal identity in almost every country worldwide and can represent you while importing your equipment and take care of all compliance requirements.
Also, Blackthorne supports a wide range of services such as EOR, equipment installation, maintenance and support, and global freight fulfilment besides IOR services.