Cross-border environment hosts different initiatives to conciliate trade compliance, control and security with trade and logistics efficiency. However, there is uncertainty on the impact of these initiatives for each of the supply chain actors and on how their roles and responsibilities might be affected in the future. The hypothesis is that Customs brokers will be affected by the changing cross-border environment and that they are or should be starting to transform their portfolio of services in order to increase their added value to the supply chain. The objective of this study was to document the Customs brokers’ actual role in the international supply chain and to anticipate the new service opportunities emerging in the future. The study was conducted as a web-based questionnaire, addressing for the first time Customs brokers industry on worldwide basis. The Customs broker sample was selected together with the International Federation of Customs Brokers Associations (IFCBA), and International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), responses covered 21 Customs broker businesses in 10 countries. As the main result of the study, Product classification; Export and import trade compliance; and Compliance audit were identified as the brokers’ key traditional services, which are also expected to keep their importance in the future. Additional services for Arranging international transportation; Trade consulting; and International trade automation, appear to have the biggest potential for future business expansion – or even for business survival.
Publications and presentations:
Gutierrez, X., Hintsa, J., Wieser, P. and Hameri, A.-P., 2005. New Roles for Customs Brokers in International Supply Chain. The First International Conference on Transportation Logistics (T-LOG). Singapore, 27-29 July 2005.