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Global Logistics and Trade Compliance: 2 Sides - Same Coin

Ned Blinick

Co-Founder, 3rdwave

It is not readily apparent that managing global logistics and global trade compliance are 2 sides of the same coin -but they are.Both global logistics and trade compliance rely on the same, or similar, information regarding a shipment but use that information in different ways and for different purposes. The global logistics team is interested in effectively moving a shipment from origin to destination. Along with the physical move comes the desire for visibility of the shipment so that product can be effectively managed as it proceeds through its import/export life-cycle. Trade compliance on the other-hand is interested in the shipment from the time it arrives at the port and its effective movement through customs and PGAs until it is liquidated.While Logistics requires a host of information from various parties (eg., the shipper, consolidator, carrier, freight forwarder, places of export and import, bill of lading detail, equipment tracking information, ETAs and ETDs, weights and cubes, etc, etc.), Trade compliance needs that same information in addition to certain product and account information to ensure that the entries (import or export) are compliant and able to be properly (and correctly) processed.This reality has real potential for the organization if they can bridge the information gap that often exists.In most organizations logistics and trade compliance operate in different functional areas. Most often information that is required by one is not systemically available to the other. This problem is particularly evident when processes are not designed or systems are not synchronized to support the sharing of required information.Most frequently, the performance of each group is measured by different criteria. However, the overarching goals of both are to manage effectively the process so that product moves through the global supply chain as quickly and with as little friction as possible.The lack of synchronization between Logistics and Trade Compliance means that the organization's global trade capabilities are operating at a disadvantage. This is very well documented by many industry studies, the latest of which is the American Shipper Magazine and BPE study - Import Benchmark Report - all the right movesMany organizations are addressing this problem through different paths. Some have implemented all or parts of a GTM (Global Trade Management) solutions, others have signed on to their freight forwarders systems to get the information they require, and others still operate off of spreadsheets and word documents.Best-in-class businesses take a holistic and process driven approach to logistics and trade compliance and see significant results.

  • Global supply chain visibility
  • Improved Track and Trace capability
  • Product traceability
  • Control of Trade Compliance process and filing
  • Greater Accuracy of information
  • Increased global supply chain velocity
  • Reduced global supply chain risk

However, there is still much opportunity to improve the processes of logistics and trade compliance. New GTM solutions deliver both logistics and trade compliance in a "cloud", on a singular platform. This allows both logistics and trade compliance to capture, share, and utilize global trade information seamlessly, and, best of all, effortlessly. They support and streamline both logistics and trade compliance through effective and efficient processes that eliminate needless duplication of effort and manual data entry.The best part is, these GTM solutions are affordable (even for small importers), often require little upfront investment, are IT light, and have no long term contracts. The bottom line is they can fit almost all corporate budgets and quickly deliver results that significantly reduce cost.A simple take away: Logistics and Trade Compliance require much of the same account, product and shipment information to do their work. They use the information for their own purposes. By having the capability to share the information between these groups, organizations are seeing dramatic benefits: maximizing the speed at which product moves from source to destination, while minimizing regulatory delay, cost, or interference.

About 3rdwave: 3rdwave simplifies global trade through automation. 3rdwave is a GTM platform that minimizes manual data entry, streamlines business process, and provides contextual information enabling its users to make informed decisions to reduce global supply chain risk. It's a cloud-based platform, resulting in minimal IT resources for quick implementation.

Ned Blinick is Chief Product Officer of He has been involved in global trade for too many decades and he loves making the global supply chain simpler for everyone. If you would like to engage with Ned he would really enjoy the opportunity of communicating with you or your boss. He can be reached at (416) 510 8800 ext 234 or at