Post-Brexit import and export paperwork is expected to cost UK businesses around £7bn a year. But the increasing complexities of international trade extend much further than the EU. Simon Thompson, SVP Global Customers, explains where customers can find help for cross-border deployments.

The UK’s Brexit transition period with the European Union has now ended. A deal has been struck and Britain is on its own. The decision to leave the EU will continue to have a global impact – stock market prices, travel plans, the movement of cargo and even fishing rights on international waters have all been affected. Whatever your views on the issue, no-one can argue that this hasn’t caused a great deal of stress during the past four years.

The largest impact over the short and medium term will be on the buying, selling and movement of goods between the European Union and Britain. Anybody looking to trade internationally must find a cost-effective, efficient and compliant solution – and not just in Europe. There are increasingly challenging conditions in other countries around the world in 2021, especially in Asia and Latin America. Many countries have changed how they operate, and more and more controls are being put in place across the globe.

Increased costs and delays

This is having two effects. It’s becoming more expensive to import and export goods, and it’s creating considerable additional delays getting goods into countries. Globalisation is creating opportunities, but businesses increasingly don’t have the necessary skills or geographic coverage to reap the rewards.

There is no cure-all, but our GSCS team has the knowledge and experience in international trade, and governance and compliance expertise, to help customers minimise risks, costs and delays when going into these countries. Our export-first or local-to-local models provide the flexibility needed to cover every scenario, with exceptional in-country coverage and Importer of Record expertise around the world.

Export vs local

Local-to-local – where goods are purchased from the vendor and sold to the customer locally – is always the best option in terms of cost, delivery and invoicing. Buying and delivering the product in the destination country eradicates the challenges around transportation across borders: additional freight costs, losing control of the delivery process and challenges with import controls and customs duties.

But this model doesn’t always fit customer requirements. Customers might want to centralise, consolidate or preconfigure multiple products into a solution stack before delivery. They may not want a local invoice, because this will incur a tax liability in a different country, so prefer to export the goods. And another reason for export, and one that’s increasing with SD-WAN, is centralised asset management. Customers may want to buy the technology centrally, own it, and deploy it across their network. With a high volume of relatively low-cost boxes, lots of small transactions doesn’t make sense.

In these situations, export first is a better fit. In this model we provide an all-inclusive price upfront, so the customer knows what they’ll be invoiced for – with no nasty surprises. And we take care of everything, from tax considerations and duties to the last mile delivery to the door. The customer doesn’t have to buy the goods, or find a freight forwarder, local handler or Importer of Record. It provides the quickest quote turnaround time, centralised billing and simplified customs clearance to deliver a better customer experience.

We’re here to help

Our GSCS team is a centre of global supply chain excellence and a trusted partner for global deployments. We’re here to help you choose the best option for your project or implementation. Talk to your local account manager or watch our video to find out more.