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Key Strategies for Automating the Import Supply Chain

February 07, 2012

US corporations import nearly $2 trillion worth of products from more than 150 countries, a number that is expected to triple by 2015, according to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Companies involved in the importation process need to consider several key factors that will shape their strategy:

  • Sourcing behavior – Product cost reductions accrue when source materials are obtained from the lowest cost

  • provider, while also factoring in landed costs.

  • Voluntary and required reporting – Customs organizations around the world are establishing programs and

  • creating rules that focus on security, reporting and compliance.

  • Preferential trade agreements – Many countries have negotiated preferential trade agreements that provide significant incentives to importers.

  • Transportation costs – There is increased pressure to reduce overall transportation costs even as fuel prices
    are rising.

According to an April 2011 study by the AberdeenGroup, 60% of companies surveyed cited the need to gain control over shipment status and cost of inbound volume as a key requirement for their business.1 In the same study, 56% of companies surveyed indicated that internal, top-management pressure to reduce transportation costs was their major concern.

Global trade management (GTM) technologies, including software and comprehensive trade content, are increasingly important to automate global operations and manage complex government regulations. A GTM platform can effectively streamline the procure-to-pay to process, track and automate dynamic preferential trade agreements and increase regulatory compliance.


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