The Import/Export mighty volume of global trade abounds in complexities, legal disputes, and price wars. The smooth movement of goods across national borders by land, sea, and air seems a mystical dream.
The economy appears to be bouncing back, despite severe disruptions last year during the worst days of the pandemic. Even now tensions remain but it seems almost certain that normalcy is returning in the days of the receding omicron. A large-scale movement of goods that criss-cross the globe characterises the mighty volume of imports and exports that have become compulsory to existence. Can you think of some countries that do not export or import a variety of goods and services?
Trends indicate that imports are indulged in even if the machinery or electrical system is locally available. A fascination for the different and the unusual is characteristic of the new generation. We somehow think that imported stuff is better. The great volumes of imports/exports have stressed the economy. A happy life seems impossible without them. Being local and global at the same time appears a distant daydream.
Smaller nations suffer while advanced countries like America and Australia have robust economies with a powerful transport, warehousing, and distribution network. Consider the crucial aspects for a business like time and the delays that only mean losses. In most nations, the transport infrastructure just cannot cope with the mighty input and output of merchandise. It may be hard to believe that developed nations routinely dump used clothes and electronic waste on weaker countries.
Travellers whether on business tours or fancy tourist destinations relate similar tales! Across the wall or fence exists another country with differing priorities, politics, culture, and laws. Friendly groups of countries like the European Union have discovered much in common and share the laws and currencies too. How we wish that every continent had similar friendly pacts. Frequently, the bitter confrontations at border check posts remind me of oil and water that do not mix.
One would think that digital technology and the power of the internet with AI and virtual reality would ease the procedures involved in moving goods across borders. Compared with shopping online, e-commerce websites have cleared up the way with amazing software applications. The documents, counters, and permissions required for customs clearance on both sides of the border involve terrible time-consuming experiences, waste of time and resources. Imagine the situation with goods having to cross several land borders or seaports along the way to the destination.
Keeping up with the media can be challenging unless it is a company that keeps workers well informed of changes. Moving goods globally requires herculean effort to know which country restricts which item. Consider the controversial cannabis for instance that is banned in many countries but accepted legally in others. It only means that enough offices and representation in the countries concerned would succeed in keeping on the right side of the law.
People always complain of steadily rising prices. What happened now after the covid-19 havoc across much of the world?
Prices of goods and services have soared, and tariffs show an upward trend.
Before the pandemic, certain import taxes were bitterly high. While getting adequate profits out of business means charging the customer even higher. How can buying and selling be an attractive business proposition any longer? Only a few startups with clever ideas like cab networks and food delivery have reached the pinnacle of success.
Well-established global Importer of Record (IOR)/Exporter of Record (EOR) teams do not consider it a nightmare because of experience and familiarity. The belief that software and AI in the cloud have solved many problems is not the truth. Most problems remain like before but record-keeping has been boosted with technology. Files and papers can be stolen and burned, manipulated, and substituted but soft records have greater safety. They require little physical space. Technology enables communication instantly across the world. Thinking globally, the complications of currency exchange values that constantly change is one more test.
Only specialised knowledge can succeed. One person cannot handle many tasks. A sustained workforce dedicated to the company that doesn’t have any corruption allegation or partisan thinking gradually gets adept at managing the local tasks. Awareness of the local laws, prohibitions, and culture enables a dedicated duty that might continue for years and decades. According to the company’s policy, transfers happen regularly, and worker adjustment starts afresh at the new posting. It is the topsy-turvy world of running a successful Importer of Record (IOR)/Exporter of Record (EOR) team.