For manufacturers, managing a global supply chain often begins (and sometimes ends) with complying with 600 or more different laws and regulations that go into effect when goods move from one country to another. In a recent study of manufacturers, distributors and retailers conducted by Tompkins Supply Chain Consortium, respondents indicated that they comply with International Security Filing (ISF) programs by adhering to several best practices, including:
- Relying on customs brokers to file the proper documents;
- Electronic filing online through a freight forwarder's website;
- Employing in-house custom brokers or consultants to manage the filing;
- Using a third-party logistics provider (3PL) to file at the time of shipping.
"Nearly three-quarters of companies are implementing technology solutions in addition to ensuring that their staffs are well trained," observes Bruce Tompkins, executive director of the consortium. However, he points out, only 42% of the respondents say they are taking advantage of international trade agreements and economic programs, and another 41% say they don't know how well they are using these programs.
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