Business, Freight News, IT, Logistics

Firms embrace digi-customs, says new report

[ December 3, 2018   //   ]

Most companies are planning to digitize their customs processes or have already taken the first steps to do so, according to a study by software company AEB, in cooperation with the DHBW University in Stuttgart.

‘Clear the track for Digital Customs Management’, found that over 35% of 435 respondents said that they had already implemented at least one project to digitize customs operations, while a similar number already have projects in the planning or implementation phase.

Study co-author, DHBW Professor for Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Dr Dirk Hartel, said that part of the motivation was the increasing complexity of global customs issues: “We assume that the public debate about the growing number of trade conflicts boosts the interest of management in digitizing customs processes. Companies need efficient standard processes to free up time for the experts in their customs departments to solve problems and work on strategically important tasks.”

But while the study also found that 73% of respondents expected personnel costs to fall more than 10% as a result of digitization,   only 7% actually planned to cut personnel in their customs departments in the coming three years, due to the shortage of qualified personnel.
Fellow co-author, AEB board member Dr Ulrich Lison, explained: “The aim is more to handle the workload with the existing personnel rather than actually downsize,” to prevent customs departments from becoming “a critical bottleneck”.