Navigating Challenges Of Cross-Border Logistics


According to Technavio, the cross-border supply chain market will reach $67.22 Bn at 12.54% CAGR by 2027

Challenges such as customs, reverse logistics, and unserviceable locations among others can be nerve-racking

In addition, brands must look towards establishing a solid international base to ensure repeat sales

Imagine you are an ecommerce entrepreneur who just hit the jackpot. Your products are flying off the shelves and people from all over the world are queuing up to buy your latest releases. 

Thanks to the marvels of modern logistics technology, you’re no longer limited to a nationwide customer base. Expanding beyond borders has helped you outgrow competitors but the challenges that come with cross-border shipping can make you feel like you’re playing an endless game of ‘whack-a-mole.’

According to Technavio, the cross-border supply chain market will reach $67.22 Bn at 12.54% CAGR by 2027. This exponential increase will indicate top-shelf supply chain service providers alongside the obstacles in their journey. 

So, what are these bottlenecks and why are they unfavourable for B2B, B2C, and D2C brands? 

Challenges And Solutions Of Cross-Border Logistics

Challenges abound in cross-border logistics as they occur due to several reasons but one can overcome these by counting on the fruitful solutions listed below.  

Challenge 1: Custom Obligations

Customs have a set of meticulous rules and laws with which they operate. Think of them as the gatekeepers of everything that goes around. Managing customs well requires an in-depth knowledge of the regulations and prerequisites and a knack for handling complex documentation for faster clearance.

Solution: Tie-ups with customs officials can save time, effort, and money. They are well-versed with international laws and compliances and have experience with paperwork. Many B2B companies automate customs clearance to speed up the process and get things right every time.

Challenge 2: Reverse Logistics

Reverse logistics can be nerve-racking as it necessitates a smooth backward supply chain process for an order. A report by Straitsresearch states, the global reverse logistics market is expected to hit $831.3 Bn by 2030, meaning, brands must pick up the pace to better manage returns.

Solution: An automated returns process is the name of the game for businesses looking to strengthen reverse logistics infrastructure. They are unlikely to jump ship looking for alternatives when they can benefit from an all-inclusive dashboard to view order information in real-time. This gives complete control of the process to the manufacturers.

Challenge 3: Unserviceable Locations

Within the labyrinthine algorithms of every cross-border logistics partner’s network, lie unreachable geographies that affect the respective businesses associated. Customers seeking deliveries from remote locations undergo delays due to maps that are not easily recognised. For example, Australians are highly receptive to shipping challenges because of belonging to remote locations.

Solution: To solve this problem, brands must turn to robust overseas networking with multi-modal shipping and efficient visibility technology. They should also use GPS and RFID systems to connect with customers in the most unfindable places. Based on the report from the Material Handling Institute, supply chain companies with RFID support gained 100% accuracy in shipping tasks.

Challenge 4: Currency Exchange 

Currency exchange is a concern and a formidable challenge for businesses. Currency rates keep changing and merchants often struggle to retrieve the accurate transfer of funds from a secured framework. Moreover, various risks accompany international transactions.

Solution: Diversify currencies and offer multiple payment gateways to enable customers to make secure payments. Let them choose from options like credit cards, bank transfers, or facilities like PayPal that fall under financial frameworks and follow compliances for worldwide transactions. Some financial institutions also automatically process currency conversions so users can perform transactions in their local currency.

Challenge 5: Disparity in Shipping Data Visibility

Moving goods across borders can be tricky. Brands have to manage transportation, and inventories, and coordinate with internal teams. All this becomes difficult and inefficient without accurate order data and visibility. Not to mention the delays and lags it creates.

Solution: Use unified dashboards and dedicated portals for a holistic order journey. These portals provide rich insights on routes, rates, and loads, and offer an intuitive experience and control to plan and coordinate smoothly. Brands can look at this information on a single interface and send real-time updates to customers about their packages travelling across countries.

Wrapping Up

We have uncovered five challenges and their solutions to help buyers and sellers navigate the complex landscape of cross-border logistics. Understanding these obstacles and leveraging the right solutions are key to successfully managing the constant demand and supply of goods to cross-border territories. 

In addition to that, brands must look towards establishing a solid international base and build lasting business-customer bonds to ensure repeat sales. From elevating overseas logistics efforts to creating a global presence, they can go shoulder-to-shoulder with cross-border competitors. 

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.

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