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

Posted by Gary M. Barraco

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

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

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

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

Apparel is as Perishable as Avocados

Posted by Gary M. Barraco

Who knew? Avocados are one of the most complex products to ship internationally. They do not ripen on the tree, but once harvested they need to be handled with great care. Handlers delay the softening process by pre-cooling the fruit immediately after picking. Then during transportation, they need to be stored at optimal temperatures and shipped expeditiously so the cargo is at the desired stage of ripeness upon reaching destination. Who cares, though? Last year, the industry was buzzing about the first practical application of blockchain technology and avocados were the test product. Maersk, the global shipping giant, is expected to announce it is using IBM’s version of the blockchain to track the avocados, flowers, and machine parts it carries on its enormous cargo ships. The highly-sensitive, speed-critical product —  the avocado — was at the center of the Maersk/IBM blockchain initiative, and an example of how this technology can be used to share traceability data to benefit global supply chains.

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Topics: Apparel, Production Management, Production Tracking, Material Order Visibility

Controlling Shipping Costs via Multi-Modal Freight Rate Visibility

Posted by Gary M. Barraco

Amber_Road_Multi_Modal_Transportation_Mangagement.pngThe Amazon disruptive effect has put an ever-growing strain on supply chain professionals to ensure inventory availability across a broader network of distribution points, along with the capabilities to get product to the consumer in days - if not less. This weight bears down on every step of the shipment process to ensure reliability and accuracy. Smart logisticians are properly orchestrating the fastest and cheapest means of moving goods from factory to consumer. But it isn’t simple....

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Topics: Invoice Management, Contract & Rate Management, Carrier Selection & Booking

Global Trade Recap: While You Were Away…

Posted by Gary M. Barraco

 

The elongated holiday break gave most people a chance to relax, but for most, that means you have some catching-up to do. Here is a quick recap of some top global trade news stories that emerged in the final weeks of 2017 while you were away from the small screen...

 

 

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Topics: Global Trade Content, Global Trade Management

Product Testing Keeps Santa from Going Up In Flames

Posted by Gary M. Barraco

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house…

I have everything in place for a wonderful morning of holiday gift-giving and memories to be made.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care

So I settle down with a mug of warm cocoa, light the log in the fireplace, and unwind from the hustle and bustle of the holiday.   

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Topics: Product Testing, Risk and Quality Management, Quality Control Inspection

Fast Isn’t the Only Factor in Product Lifecycle Management...

Posted by Gary M. Barraco

One of the biggest industry buzzwords over the past year has been “fast fashion,” as companies race each other to bring goods to market faster and faster. Originating in the fashion sphere, the concept has caught on like wildfire and spread to other industries. Companies are taking a closer look at their internal tools and procedures, seeking areas of the product lifecycle where time can be saved and speed-to-market accelerated.

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Topics: Apparel, Global Supply Chain, Production Management

And Then There Were 11: the TPP Moves on Without the US

Posted by Gary M. Barraco

It was a busy Saturday at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit as trade ministers from 11 countries announced an agreement to push ahead with a trade deal whose destiny was uncertain after President Donald Trump dropped out a few months ago. Despite the US decision to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact to pursue an ‘America First’ protectionist trade agenda, the remaining 11 countries came away with a blueprint to start trading more freely between themselves in a resurrected form of the TPP deal. 

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Topics: Duty Management, Global Trade Management, Free Trade Agreements