Navigating International Trade Post-Lockdown

Despite the economic effects of lockdowns across the world, commerce is still happening and will continue to be a driving force. Shipping and trade won't end completely, but you'll have to adjust to new regulations. It can be really confusing to try to understand every single change, but your company is going to have to stay on top of all the requirements.

Tariff Changes

The past few years have seen more than their share of trade disputes and tariffs, and the post-lockdown economy will likely force changes on existing agreements to help get trade moving again. Because of certain communication issues between government departments, figuring out just what the current tariff regulations are, and what changes are truly occurring (as opposed to those announced by certain government figures who then don't follow through) can be difficult. Rather than task a staff member with untangling the current situation, work with a consulting firm that is dedicated to guiding companies through international trade issues.

COVID Restrictions

There are bound to be restrictions on shipping and manufacturing even after lockdowns ease up. Even if goods aren't restricted, there may be lower volumes due to repeat lockdowns elsewhere. This can create logistics issues that your company may have to work around (less freight equals fewer truckloads, which can be so cost-inefficient for trucking company owners that some truckers may decide to avoid port work).  

Shipping While Distancing

Finally, there's the issue of taking care of shipping and transport, including loading and unloading, while trying to follow social distancing rules. There's really no model for how distancing will end or continue (although it's becoming clearer that repeated lockdowns and easing of rules may be the norm for several months). The amount of cargo you want plus the speed at which you want it shipped are both seriously affected by how many people can be near the cargo. Ports are heavily automated, luckily, but past that, you may have to have lots of workers unloading one truck. You'll need to know the latest guidance for successfully adhering to social distancing while still getting shipping work done, and that can affect your schedules.

The easiest way to get through the next few years -- and beyond -- is to work with a consulting company. International trade is dynamic, and you can't assume that what you know about it now will be valid a few months from now. An international trade compliance consulting firm can keep your company afloat in turbulent trade waters.