Industry News and Links

Important Change to Australia GST Effective July 1, 2018

The Federal Parliament in Australia has passed a law that will extend GST (goods and services tax) to low value physical goods imported by consumers beginning July 1, 2018.  Businesses that meet the threshold will need to take action now to review their business systems and ensure that they are able to comply.

As of July 1, 2018, international businesses will be required to collect 10% GST on low value goods they sell to consumers in Australia, if their sales to Australia equal A$75,000 or more in any 12 month period.  (NOTE: The existing processes to collect GST on imports above $1,000 at the border are unchanged.)

More information and full detail on this change, including how businesses can register, report and pay GST, is available at www.ato.gov.au/ausgst.

Guide to Global Shipping Restrictions Subscription Box Products

December 20, 2017:  When it comes to shipping overseas, reducing the risk of delays or holds is crucial to monthly subscription box companies and their customers. Packages can be held at customs and even returned to shipment origin at the expense of the seller if documentation is not properly executed. Specific products that are curated for monthly subscription boxes are included on global shipping restriction lists for various countries. Understanding global shipping restrictions is one way of cutting down on the possibility for a shipping setback.

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Is Cash Replacing Inventory As a Hedge Against Supply-Chain Risk?

Worried about managing supply-chain risk? All you need is cash.

Or so many companies appear to think these days. Research by one academic has uncovered a possible reason for the dramatic rise in cash reserves among U.S. firms over the last few decades.

A more recent buildup of cash, in a time of stubbornly low interest rates, has been chalked up to anxieties arising from the Great Recession of 2008. Following that debacle, many banks pulled back from various aspects of supply-chain financing. Some smaller businesses could no longer obtain loans at all.

Meanwhile, transportation costs were plunging, the result of a deregulated trucking industry and slack demand for its services. And businesses were coming under intense pressure to cut supply-chain costs to the bone.

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Major Carriers Forecast Significant Growth in Holiday Shipping Volume

UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service are all projecting major growth in holiday shipping volume during the peak season, driven by the continued boom in ecommerce activity.

UPS, for example, is projecting 700 million deliveries between Thanksgiving and the end of the year, a 14% increase over 2015. This year has two extra shipping days, which contributes a few percentage points to the increase. UPS includes the last week of the year in its holiday forecasts because of the growth of returns, gift card activation and inventory replenishment during this period.

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Will Postal Service Rate Cuts Steal Business From UPS and FedEx?

While UPS and FedEx are preparing to raise rates on many smaller packages, the U.S. Postal Service is dropping the price of shipping heavier parcels. The move can be seen as part of a concerted effort by the Postal Service to draw business away from the two private carriers, who together handle nearly 80 percent of U.S. ground shipping volumes.

Shipping out: Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters bringing e-commerce fulfillment centers to Lancaster County

In addition to companies such as Home Shopping Network, Amazon and others, it was recently announced that Urban Outfitters and Nordstrom would both locate facilities in the growing Lancaster area.  Lancaster is a growing hub for logistics and supply chain companies due to it’s proximity to the populous Northeast US, “Southcentral Pennsylvania is within one day’s drive of more than half the U.S. population”.

Understanding NAFTA and its Implications for U.S./Canada Trade

In the 20 years since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) took effect, trade between the US and Canada has increased by 300%, and the countries are each other’s top trading partners. A key provision of the agreement is the elimination of duties on eligible products traveling between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Eligible products “originate” in one of the three countries, and NAFTA lays out detailed “rules” as to what constitutes origination. Determining NAFTA eligibility, and knowing how to apply for benefits can be time-consuming and complicated.

B2B e-commerce could use more analytical and technology pros:

Business-to-business e-commerce operators and the service providers that help them manage online sales often struggle to find business analytics, technology and customer experience professionals, according to a Forrester Research Inc. report.