Global eCommerce is increasingly transcending traditional borders. As more parcels are shipped internationally, regulatory compliance with regard to taxes, duties, and restrictions is becoming increasingly critical. Postal services and couriers are facing new challenges in fulfilling deliveries across these boundaries. This punctuates the need for renewed postal solutions to face these challenges.
Global governments are constantly altering, if not increasing regulations. The increase of cross-border parcels over the last several years has led to more oversight into how mail moves across international boundaries. Increased oversight also means a higher level of scrutiny.
The industry itself is already highly regulated in most countries. However, new policies are being put forth every day, ostensibly to halt the flow of illicit or restricted substances such as drugs. In the United States, one recent change was the 2018 STOP ACT which provides for the processing by U.S. Customs and Border Protection of certain international mail shipments and requires the provision of advance electronic information on international mail shipments.
Failure to comply with the provisions of the STOP Act, as well as other regulations, may result in a parcel being stopped at the border, unable to proceed to its intended destination. The parcel may not, in most cases, be carrying a restricted item, it may simply not be in full regulatory compliance with regard to this, or other regulations. In short, a perfectly good parcel may be halted.
With the quickly changing eCommerce landscape, new and existing taxes, duties, and fees are also hefty considerations for postal operators. Maintaining compliance in this regard may also mean the difference between a parcel being delivered or being detained. It can also mean preventing the recipient being faced with a fee at pickup or delivery which is not the most optimal way to receive a gift, for example.
To manage the ever-changing industry as well as its hurdles, Escher has taken several initiatives. From utilizing artificial intelligence algorithms to strategic partnerships with industry leaders, Escher is committed to reducing roadblocks for customers and enhancing the overall customer experience.
Recently, Escher partnered with Hurricane, a global leader in tax, duty, and compliance screening for parcels. The partnership enables Postal Operators to correctly calculate duties and tax, check product classification and screen for restricted products and denied parties at the point of engagement with their customer rather than later in the process.
By confronting these challenges up-front at the point of engagement (i.e. when the customer is actively shipping the parcel), a better customer experience is all but assured. We can drastically reduce, if not eliminate surprises, delays, and embarrassing fees which could otherwise have been avoided.
Customers who are sending parcels have a multitude of options in today’s landscape. By being able to offer a more seamless, hassle-free experience, posts can increase customer satisfaction which is key to increasing parcel volume and by extension, market share and revenue.
To learn more, listen to the Postal Hub Podcast featuring Nick Manolis, CEO of Escher, as he shares his perspectives on data, the posts office, cross-border shipments and more.