U.S. Customs Commissioner Says E-commerce Challenges Regulators and Shippers Alike

(U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Electronic commerce is a booming business, but it’s putting a strain on U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s land, sea and air ports of entry, Commissioner Kevin McAleenan told guests at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 6th Annual Global Supply Chain Summit, Tuesday, in Washington, D.C.

The numbers are staggering. Office of Trade records show that e-commerce resulted in nearly a 50 percent increase in express consignment billings in five years and a 300 percent increase in international mail. In fiscal 2013, the agency processed 150 million international mail shipments. By fiscal 2017, that number was over 500 million shipments.

The explosive growth in e-commerce, particularly small parcels, is also outpacing the ability of retailers and carriers to handle the volume. Almost 80 percent of Americans shop online, and the global e-commerce market is now $2.29 trillion in sales, the Commissioner pointed out, citing statistics from the Pew Research Center and the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development. Click here to read more.

Related: Can Customs Handle the E-Commerce Flood? (Supply Chain Brain)