International trade is complex and difficult to manage. It involves a number of documents, permits, approvals and co-operation of trading partners and associated service providers to move goods and documents from the exporter to the importer.
“According to studies completed by the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the average international transaction involves 27-30 different parties, 40 documents, 200 data elements (30 of which are repeated at least 30 times) and the re-keying of 60-70% of all data at least once. Obtaining the necessary permits for import and export can take weeks in some cases.”
Most of the export documentation is currently paper-based which results in significant impediments to the efficiency of the overall export process.
There is a high volume of repeated, manual processing of documents resulting in high error rates.
The compliance requirements of both the export and import countries involving differing terminology, documents and procedures makes the process time consuming, complex and prone to errors.
There are often long lead times on documentation and physical shipments are impeded by slow and inaccurate data transfer.