Let’s Talk About Global Sourcing

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on April 23, 2019

When comparing today's retail environment with the past, it isn't surprising that the industry remains focused on improving visibility in the supply chain (again).  Anyone who reads the daily news realizes the greater complexity of our business. You've got fast fashion, global competition, changing demographics, seismic political shifts, demanding consumers, product innovation, and throw in an NGO or two pushing for ethical sourcing and sustainability (rightfully so). So many things are affecting apparel and footwear companies, many of which brands have very little control over.

There are things companies can have better control over: supply chain visibility for one.  Generally, visibility means that you know what's happening throughout the product life-cycle of your goods and where it's happening at any given time. Moreover, while there are different levels of visibility, I think what we want to discuss is full end-to-end visibility – I like to think of it as a transparent glass pipeline – that allows access to every piece of data on a given product at any given time. And it's essential beyond being called a "buzzword," because full visibility allows a company to deliver their products to their customers on-time and with the level of quality that people have come to expect.

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Topics: China Trade Management, Global Sourcing, Events, Supplier & Product Traceability

EU-Vietnam Trade Agreement Underlines Environmental and Social Considerations

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on October 11, 2018

One indicator of the impact climate change is making on Vietnam is the migratory shift of inhabitants from the agriculturally-rich Mekong Delta to urban areas. According to government statistics, more than 1.7 million residents have relocated out of the vast expanse of fields, rivers and canals over the last ten years. Natural disasters have vexed the regional farmers trying to make a living of rice, shrimp, and fruit production and harvesting for export. One in-depth study on migration in deltas revealed that climate factors such as extreme floods, cyclones, erosion, and land degradation play a role in making natural resource-based livelihoods more difficult, further encouraging inhabitants to migrate.

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Topics: Free Trade Agreements, Risk and Quality Management, Facility Compliance, Supplier & Product Traceability

The New NAFTA Takes Shape as USMCA

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on October 2, 2018

After months of discussion and to-and-fro activity, the US and Canada reached a late hour agreement on a framework for a renewed trilateral trade agreement that will replace NAFTA. The “US-Mexico-Canada Agreement” or USMCA is a “new, modernized trade agreement”, according to the joint statement released on Sunday evening by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland — the two top negotiators on USMCA.

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Topics: Duty Management, Trade Agreement Identification, Free Trade Agreements

UK Aims to Prep Businesses in Case of No-Deal Brexit

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on September 4, 2018

With just over six months to go before the ongoing divorce saga of Brexit is finalized, the UK government is preparing businesses for the possibility of a ‘no-deal Brexit’. In this scenario—which they insist is really, really unlikely—the UK and the EU will split on March 29, 2019 without an agreement in place outlining their new relationship. This would affect every business in the EU and UK that conducts cross-border trade, along with companies that currently export to the UK under EU rules.

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Topics: Global Trade Content, Global Trade Management, Global Knowledge

China's Trade War Going On Behind the Wall

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on August 23, 2018

It’s incredible how many people who are not in the supply chain business know a whole lot about global trade today – but not for the right reasons. The ongoing trade wars between the United States and China have taken center stage in every media outlet around the world, and organizations buying and selling goods globally are feeling the effects. However, recent dramatic regulatory changes in China have been dwarfed by the tit-for-tit tariff talk. These changes have equal importance and impact on global trade, yet most shippers aren’t tuned-in quite yet.

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Topics: China Trade Management

Tit-for-Tat Tariffs Call for Closer Calculations

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on May 16, 2018

Uncertainty over trade tariffs is already putting the squeeze on US companies. The recent tit-for-tat moves by the US and China sent ripples across the markets that turned into bigger waves across supply chains around the world. But this and other trade mêlées are adding another level of risk to cross-border shippers that go deep. Companies have to be agile enough to react to these and other changes and adapt their supply chains to avert disaster.

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Topics: Landed Cost Calculation, Duty Management

Trade Relations are Building a Bigger Wall Between the US and China

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on April 6, 2018

The tête-à-tête regarding trade between China and the US, the world’s two largest economies, has reached a new level. On Tuesday, April 3rd, the US Trade Representative (USTR) issued a list of over 1,300 products that when imported from China, would carry an additional 25 percent duty. The action doesn’t come as a surprise as both nations have been at odds over President Trump’s open position on the trade imbalance.

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Topics: Global Trade Content, Global Knowledge

Trade Sanctions Update: The Hotbed Gets Hotter

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on March 21, 2018

In recent years, importers and exporters have needed to stay on their toes regarding changes to trade rules of all kinds, and that is rightly causing trepidation. 

Economic and trade sanctions are the most widespread and powerful means of displaying disdain for one country’s actions on the world stage. Unilateral or bilateral sanctions are strong penalties that restrict trading activity of goods imported from or to a country. They might also be used to assess duties on particular goods in retaliation for another country’s trade sanctions.

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Topics: Import Management, Export Management, Import Compliance, Export Compliance, Restricted Party Screening, Global Knowledge

Supply Chain Visibility...and Influenza Vaccines?

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on March 6, 2018

It’s been a long flu season all over the world, and store stock of the “sneezing-sniffling-so-you-can-rest-medicine” are flying off local pharmacies shelves. Their real-time inventory system shows several stores running low on over-the-counter cold and flu medicines, which sets off an internal alert. This triggers the logistics teams to ship more from distribution centers set-up as hubs for re-supply. The major pharma manufacturers are keyed into WHO data and have already anticipated the need to produce more at their factories. So the goods will keep flowing.

This scenario isn’t farfetched in today’s fast-paced supply chain management. Shippers and their supply chain partners are gaining granular insight into the supply-and-demand sides of the supply chain, and responding faster than ever to the needs of their customers at every step of the process.

Amber Road’s Stephanie Miles was recently interviewed in Inbound Logistics about the evolution in supply chain visibility. “Years ago, the baseline for visibility was simple track and trace—where’s my stuff? Today, companies have advances far beyond that,” Miles explains. Miles goes on here to highlight what companies should consider to improve supply chain visibility, and what expectations to set when it comes to their partners’ capabilities.

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Topics: Supply Chain Visibility, Order and Shipment Visibility

Digitization: Delivering Seamless Experiences and More Value

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on March 1, 2018

Trade is more globalized than ever as organizations adopt more global sourcing strategies with suppliers in every corner of the world. As more countries participate in global trade, management of the supply chain grows more complex. Now add the multitude of customers armed with technology and putting on more pressure to deliver on cost, quality and timeliness.

The great confluence has forced leaders in this space to automate, optimize and analyze their internal processes to stay ahead of the competition. Those that chose to transform, have an opportunity to take advantage of supply chain digitization tools that will create greater value and deliver seamless experiences.

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Topics: Global Trade Management Software

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