Inbound Logistics | January 2024


With the implementation of Section 321, many ecommerce companies took advantage of the program by fulfilling de minimis orders overseas through partnerships with international freight forwarders. The international freight forwarders were also freight consolidators who would package and sort each individual shipment into totes and load those totes into 40- or 45-foot containers so that when they arrived in the United States, the individual totes could be dropped oš at a last-mile courier. However, for an importer to take advantage of the program and avoid paying duties, they have to file three entries with Customs. Most ecommerce companies ship tens of thousands of shipments per container. In an example of 15,000 shipments in a single container, this would mean 45,000 filings, notes Darrell Ortiz, founder and CEO of CDM Software Solutions, a Customs- certified software application provider that helps carriers, NVOCCs (non-vessel operating common carriers), shippers, and importers facilitate export and import shipments into and out of the United States. GTM solutions like CDM’s play a key role in helping companies with these cumbersome processes. “By automating the process of filing certain documents required by Customs, CDM’s Global Shipment Compliance solution has improved the e‹ciency of filing those documents by 90%,” says Ortiz. CDM Software Solutions created a single-message format that enables importers to provide all the data elements for each of the three required customs filings. CDM’s internal system processes the message and sends the data to the appropriate Customs system and returns the appropriate acceptance or rejection response back to the importer. This streamlines the process and empowers companies to benefit from smart global trade strategies.

While not as buzzy as next-gen tools like AI and blockchain, global trade management (GTM) systems— arguably the workhorse of global supply chain software— still play a vital role in the supply chain tech stack of many global firms. Thanks to its ability to enable agile and compliant performance in the face of fluctuating trade regulations and increasing penalties for non-compliance, companies can use GTM systems to automate international trade management processes to mitigate risks, ensure compliance, and minimize costs. Here are two examples of GTM in action. Opening Up Partnership Opportunities Companies engaging in global trade want to be confident that they are in compliance with a variety of global regulations and protected from potential risks that pop up across the global supply chain. Those needs have driven some 400,000 manufacturing, logistics, channel, and distribution partners to connect on the SaaS-based global trade application suite from e2open. The company’s cloud-native global platform enables these partners to operate as one multi-enterprise network tracking more than 12 billion transactions annually. The platform is designed to anticipate disruptions and provide opportunities to help companies improve e‹ciency, reduce waste, and operate sustainably. The software is backed by a comprehensive database and business rules covering 98% of world trade. It can automatically apply regulatory rules to all cross- border transactions, helping organizations mitigate non- compliance risks such as border clearance delays, fines, loss of trade privileges, and criminal liability. Organizations also gain the ability to minimize duty costs and speed imports and exports by accessing the connections in e2open’s network of global trade partners. Fast and Easy Filing Filing documents required by U.S. Customs is standard fare for organizations involved in global trade. The process, however, can be anything but cut and dry— especially at scale. That challenge became evident for many ecommerce companies when Customs implemented a program (Section 321, 19 USC 1321) related to de minimis value shipments. (De minimis allows articles to be imported free of duty and import taxes when the aggregate fair retail value of the articles imported by one person on one day does not exceed $800.)

January 2024 • Inbound Logistics 173

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