Tradelines News

Get the latest news and updates on cross-border customs and international trade.

Smaller Shippers Likely Beneficiaries of WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

(Alan M. Field – Journal of Commerce)

It takes an average of 11 days to move a container through customs in a typical country of West Africa, and in the world’s developing nations, some 60 percent of perishable goods are lost because of red tape that prevents those shipments from being delivered in a timely fashion. Those are two findings from a recent study by the International Road Transport Union, the Geneva-based global federation representing over-the-road operators in 74 countries.

But that’s just the beginning of the time and money lost because of inefficiencies in the global supply chain. In the developing world, 75 percent of a truck’s time is typically spent waiting, according to IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto. “How can you have economic development and social equity when trucks are just sitting there wasting fuel?” he asked.

All too often, Pretto said, the biggest challenge isn’t dilapidated roads, ports and other physical infrastructure, but the multiplicity, diversity and complexity of international customs processes and procedures. Click here to read more.