A conversation with Sobel Network Shipping Co., Inc., Regional Director of Compliance, Sally T. Rosales.
- Why is it important to remain compliant in logistics?
Sally: The consequences of non-compliance are clear, but other issues can come about that are less direct than the punitive measures countries enact. If your items are held up at the border because of non-compliance, they aren’t getting into the hands of the buyer, which means delays, added costs, and frustrated customers. There’s also a global cost to non-compliance as laws become even more stringent. It’s in everyone’s interests to maintain customs compliance. So, how can you get this done without pulling out your hair over all the details? The answer is to work with a logistics expert with the knowledge and experience in compliance that keeps your goods moving in full compliance with any applicable law.
- What would you say is the status of Compliance in Logistics right now?
Sally: Working with a logistics company is an easy way to ensure that you are fully compliant with customs laws. We understand the importance of compliance and are dedicated to seamlessly getting your goods through customs without any hindrance to your deadlines or expectations. Problems with customs compliance don’t even have to happen on a massive scale to hold your business back. It can be as simple as filling out paperwork improperly or having the wrong form filled out for a shipment.
At best, these simple mistakes turn into lengthy, costly delays, and at worst, you are looking at all the punitive measures above.
- What effect has COVID had on the industry?
Sally: The Covid-19 outbreak began in late 2019 in China. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the worldwide pandemic in early 2020. At that time, nobody knew what it was and how to deal with it.
Most of us expected it to be a virus that might end soon. But none of us was aware or prepared for its consequences. International borders got closed, and travel and transportation got restricted.
Lockdowns across borders restricted the movement of goods and services. Warehousing and inventory handling also got affected due to social distancing. All such disruptions in the supply chain affected the logistics business.
- How was the year 2022 in Logistics, specifically Compliance? And what are the prospects for 2023?
Sally: In the year 2022, the logistics industry, as predicted, had a brighter outlook, and several new trends dominated the industry. In many ways, COVID-19 worked in the industry’s favor. Global News Wire reports that the logistics market’s worldwide value rose to $4.92 trillion in 2021, and it’s expected to continue growing until 2027 for many reasons. More countries, for example, are signing major trade agreements. The continued automation of various logistics processes is also contributing. E-commerce, meanwhile, is enjoying more popularity and driving logistics growth.
A survey conducted recently by Sensor Matic Solutions in the United States found that approximately 70% of consumers are willing to pay up to 5% more for goods that are sustainably transported throughout the supply chain. Consequently, logistics companies must dedicate themselves to developing sustainable practice strategies to remain competitive.
- How do you feel about the new re-write USC regulation 111?
Sally: Sometimes change is good, especially when change leads you to move forward. It will take time to familiarize yourself with the language and the procedures, but if we follow the book, it should be easy.
- Finally, how does Sobel’s compliance team differ from the competition?
Sally: At Sobel, we have many steps and procedures to ensure we remain compliant in the industry, specifically for our customers. We provide that we define our compliance goals, work closely in the logistics regulatory environment, create effective internal policies and procedures, and hold employees accountable.
We conduct timely audits, which also require my operations team to contribute to building a comprehensive document repository. We track minimal violations with my team and conduct compliance training. We strive to make compliance policies clear and concise, and I review our compliance program regularly.