Export/Import Updates!
December 21, 2021

Cogoport: Global Trade Platform

Barter and trade, are as much of our human make-up as language. Cross-continent trade from the silk road linking the Roman Empire to China, or the Spice Routes, have been integral to our development as a species. Textiles, agricultural diversification, and money opened our minds to new cultures, new ideas, and made us more wealthy, tolerant and inclusive.

In our lifetime we have seen major trade liberalization and trade blocs emerge such as NAFTA, or the EU, and the emergence of China and India into the global supply chain.

And trade flourished. But we are at a new inflection point. Cross-border trade has become much more complex, and difficult for most companies. Trade disputes and changes in customs, rules, and compliance are now on a steep upward trend. The OECD shows that regional trade agreements abruptly plateaued from 2017 onwards. We see and feel this all around us.  Brexit remains a “TBD” as it unfolds. Tensions with China will continue and have an unpredictable set of future complications and implications.

This combined, now with the supply chain disruption and volatility is creating one of the most challenging eras for cross-border trade that we have seen in our lifetime.

And it’s having a huge impact!

Organizations such as the UN have identified and tracked an ongoing and stubborn $1.5 Trillion in missed opportunities for cross-border trade. This figure held consistent for a decade and highlighted how complexity, cashflow, as well as knowledge around trade partners and opportunities held back trade that could and should have happened but didn’t.

And sadly, this gap is now ballooning and exacerbating to an even more stratospheric level of $3.4 Trillion annually according to the UN. There’s lots of data and references we can use to further validate this, but the fact is, the Trade Knowledge and Execution Gap is growing. If we could cut this trade gap by half it would amount to $15 trillion in corresponding value added, or roughly 7% of global GDP.

Beyond these astounding macro numbers, there is the very real human impact and potential to alleviate poverty, to drive a more inclusive trade economy and improve employment and the livelihoods of millions.  This is all tracked as part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, but unfortunately, it’s not going in the right direction.

So what’s holding companies back?

An urgent, critical need right now is to deal with the unprecedented supply chain disruption and logistics nightmare facing companies.  The tripling in freight cost, volatility in schedules, and lack of clear visibility, impacts on all but the very large companies in a disproportionately heavier way.  Most companies don’t have adequate inventory and financial resources to bring to bear against the current supply chain crunch and disruption. So companies that want to trade are getting crushed right now, and it’s a major factor in why inclusive, sustainable development and trade is going in the wrong direction.

What’s needed right now is an approachable, user-friendly shipping and logistics solution, that navigates and helps find optimal shipping rates and options, even for smaller or shared shipments.  Trade-aspiring companies also need help with the onerous shipping and customs documentation. In some cases this can be a DIY function, but it also has to have the option for a “real” person and team who understand the company and their business needs, and is willing and capable to manage all of the steps and documentation on their behalf.

A further key impediment to trade growth and opportunities is working capital and cashflow.  Given rising cost pressures and higher frequency of supply disruptions, businesses have to hold higher inventory buffers or provide more favorable payment terms to customers and suppliers.

This means businesses across the supply chain are getting squeezed, and in some cases just can’t continue with certain trade deals and interaction. Companies don’t have the resources and tools they need to grow, they don’t scale, and the Trade Knowledge and Execution Gap gets wider and wider.

And the third, further contributor to this gap is “discovery” and the ability of a business to even find appropriate trade partners. This challenge is often the first, sometimes unsurmountable hurdle. A major WTO study recently found thetop barrier to cross-border trade is “finding business partners” with 60% of respondents citing this impediment.

They simply don’t have a clear platform for a trusted, effective online search and match capability. It may sound simple, but it simply doesn’t exist for many companies who want to trade across borders and scale and grow their business. These three factors across shipping and logistics, cashflow, and discovery are shutting off the life-blood to companies, and having a very real financial and human cost.

So what can we truly do about it?

How do we get past all the rhetoric and lip-service that is made about closing this gap?

We need to move from a fragmented, non-synchronous set of processes to a trusted, seamless experience that is purpose-built to help businesses not only survive but thrive. We need a Global Trade Platform, that is intuitive, accessible, and can unleash the full potential of all trade-aspirant companies to truly be able to participate in global trade.

The Global Trade Platform brings together and synchronizes across what knowledge is really needed, and the ability to scale and execute global trade. It acts like a trusted, expert to help navigate shipping and logistics. It brings new, fresh resources and finance options for pay now or pay later, helping with cash-flow and optimal working capital.

It opens up a whole new world of trading contacts and potential partners, that truly fit with a company’s needs and trade aspirations. And while the Global Trade Platform is grounded in business, it also has a very human element and impact to it.  That is why Cogoport is so passionate about solving this business problem and gap, and truly making a difference in this global village and market.

Cogoport – we make your company go….go global….go bigger….Cogoport!

 

 

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Editorial Team
Editorial Team
Customer success manager
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Sara Smith
Customer success manager

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