International trade practices "archaic", says Freightos survey

14 / 02 / 2018

International trade practices by US importers and exporters are “laughably archaic” say respondents to logistics technology provider Freightos' latest industry survey.

With small businesses accounting for a third of total US imports, “a whopping 50% still rely on spreadsheets to manage shipments”, Freightos said after its survey of more than 500 companies.

Freightos added that 10% of small business owners reported that more than 75% of their international shipments arrived late and almost 30% admitted that less than half of their shipments arrive on time.

Only 35% of importers said that goods arrived on-time 75% of the time or more.

Many companies that import as few as 4-10 shipments year still spend over $10,000 per month on international freight. Over 42% of business owners spend more than two hours managing individual shipments, said Freightos.

Despite this, the US Department of Commerce reports a 6.7% year on year increase in US imports in 2017 - the fastest rate of growth in more than seven years.

The survey did find that larger importers had access to more sophisticated technology but only 11.7% of these felt that their freight providers are technologically advanced.

But 18.4% of business owners said they had no visibility of their shipments while 83% of importers reported that they did not have full visibility of the location of their shipments.

Freightos chief executive and founder Dr Zvi Schreiber said: “Ask any freight forwarder or business owner, and they’ll agree - international freight, particularly for small and midsize businesses, is long overdue for an upgrade.

"These survey results put real data to the all-too frustrating obsolescence of the technology used to manage international shipments, and provide valuable insight into the motives behind the rapid growth in logistics technology investments.”

The survey, conducted in the fourth quarter of 2017, was jointly carried out with Google Surveys based on a representative sample of over 500 medium-sized businesses in the US that are shipping goods around the world.

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