Some thoughts about the year ahead

A new year. Always full of hope, dreams and promises of becoming better than the previous one. We say ’happy new year’ wherever we go. Not the opposite.

Even though we live in another time period of uncertainty, there are indicators of a potential light in the tunnel for 2023. I am more optimitic about the new year than what I hear from many others.

Yes, international trade has lately been fighting an uneven battle against trade wars, protectonism, pandemics, conflicts, black swans and emerging recession. The global supply chains have been haunted by ripple effects causing delays and disturbance.

But – the recent crises have also accelerated trade digitalization, supply chain re-design, solution architecture, border processing and customs management.

We have started to ’crack-the-code’ to create an end-to-end resilence vaccine for the supply chain problems and we have designed new models for future proofing integrated value chains. In our company we now know that the Maersk Integrator Strategy works.

Today everybody knows that customs is important in this perspective. That was not the case five or ten years ago.

Strategic customs planning can help a trader or supply chain stakeholder to minimize risks and to avoid 20-25 % of potential border delays, while at the same time increasing efficiency and predictability – releasing cash-flow, reducing cost and minimizing climate impact.

Last year we talked about ’changing the language of customs’, moving from seeing customs as another transaction in the supply chain – to a system based strategic element increasing compliance and reducing risks. If handled right, customs planning makes people sleep better at night.

This year customs will become an essential part of commercial strategies – making money from day one – and a diffrentiator towards competitiors in the market. Strategic customs planning is necessary for alternative supply and value chain strategies, supply chain optimization and ’just-in-case’ planning.

It is time to tell the happy story of the new ’customs language’.

So when we say ’Happy New Year’, maybe we should be saying ’Happy New Customs Year’.

Happy New Customs Year!