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  • Efficient commerce – Supply chain security and efficiency

    Supply chain security has become extremely important as evidenced by the ISF or Importer Security Filing requirements for the United States and the ICS or Import Control System now in force for the European Union. (More on this in section 05.04 on Container security in Chapter 5). Globally import and export cargo security measures now require the sharing of information around the world, thus allowing government systems to screen against what may be considered risky cargo.

    These security systems are electronically managed and involve large amounts of information to be collected, processed and shared, speedily, to ensure no undocumented or risky shipments are allowed to travel. Failure to comply fully may result in serious fines being levied against carriers and importers alike. And, as security concerns grow so will the complexity of the legislation to address these, all of which will add to the responsibilities of operators along the modern supply chain.

    Shipping lines have sofar been at the vanguard of developing the necessary infrastructure because cargo that is inadequately documented in terms of these regulations may not be loaded at origin. This increasing reliance on electronic documentation and the consequent streamlining of data collection processes is now exposing also smaller exporters and importers to the advantages that electronic documentation brings. Such as reduced risk of errors and possibly fraud, as well as faster and more accurate information flows.

    Electronic linkages within the coffee trade will continue to grow, also because more and more of the required software can now be leased on a pay-as-you-go basis which avoids the previous problem of having to invest in software that becomes outdated within a relatively short time. The end result is likely to be a more efficient and more secure supply chain, even if the actual electronic trading of green coffee remains excluded.