By James Doyle
AI ISN’T JUST A BUZZWORD — IT’S SIMPLIFYING CROSS-BORDER TRADING AND COMPLIANCE
I is on everyone’s lips, regardless of industry. Yet, it’s the game-changer in cross-border trade and compliance, solving today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. For postal and logistics companies, AI isn’t just a buzzword — it’s the key to future-proofing their operations. Redefining Compliance Through Data As the volume of international package shipments surges in tandem with the growth of e-commerce, regulators have ramped up scrutiny to tackle fraud and tax evasion within cross-border trade. The outcome is a heightened complexity in compliance requirements. Notably, the year 2021 marked a turning point with the Universal Postal Union (UPU) mandating the use of advanced electronic data (AED) for designated operators to pre-report package information. This transformation represents a shift toward more accurate data capture and reporting, fundamentally reshaping how the industry operates. In the next three years, parcel data will be used for more than just calculating duties and taxes. It will be an intrinsic requirement for transport security, product safety, and sustainability reporting. The data sent ahead of a shipment will need to confirm a product’s raw materials, report every
stage of its supply chain, and quantify its carbon footprint. Without data, there will be no shipment. As the volume of data surpasses human handling capacities, AI emerges as a vital player, ensuring data accuracy and managing the influx of information.
But some will always meet adversity with innovation, and we’re starting to see a bigger change brewing. Operators like Geopost (formerly DPDgroup), Wish, and Joom Logistics are beginning to leverage data technologies like AI and ML to automate compliance and reporting.
Regulations Are Moving Beyond Human Capabilities Logistics and postal operators have had many challenges thrown at them over the last three years. As well as the obvious issues we’ve all been grappling with — a global pandemic, war in Europe, and an economic downturn — these industries have been hit hard by an onslaught of regulatory changes. Cross-border compliance is an increasingly diverse environment, and regulations such as the STOP ACT in the US, Canada’s CARM importing regime, the UK’s new Customs Declaration Service, and Europe’s ICS2 electronic advanced data regulatory changes are just a few of the changes any business routinely shipping goods across borders has had to contend with in the last year. The regulatory environment is now simply too complex for human teams to manage alone. Most senders are focused on keeping their heads above water; perfect compliance isn’t a possibility for many. Instead, their focus is on mitigating and limiting inevitable costly errors.
Consignee Demands Are on the Rise Consignees are seeking both transparency and fast package deliveries. Their awareness of the complexities of regulations is limited. Their primary desire is for a seamless and prompt delivery process. Amidst the diverse factors causing delays, regulatory compliance stands as a barrier against customs-related hold-ups. By employing AI to manage compliance and process extensive datasets, the benefits extend not only to logistics operations but also envelop the entire supply chain up to the consignee. Cart abandonment for international shoppers is a known issue, with over 40% of US shoppers saying they’ve abandoned their cart because duties and taxes were unclear or unrealistic. For senders already automating duties and tax calculations for compliance, extending this automation to the checkout is a very light lift, providing accurate, real-time calculations to shoppers directly. Similarly, parcel-level data can be leveraged to tackle last-mile
24 PARCELindustry.com CROSS-BORDER & GLOBAL 2023