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How logistics tech can help UK businesses pursue international trading opportunities

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  • Apr 05,2022
  • By Admin

One of the potential benefits of Brexit is the prospect of lucrative trading opportunities beyond the EU. As the reasoning had it, loosening the UK’s ties to EU markets would provide breathing space to strike new trade agreements with emerging markets.

Given the strength of the Brand UK in the global repute of British-made goods, and trust in their quality and reliability, many expected an upturn in the UK’s exports to be a matter of course. In turn, it was viewed as a necessary economic direction – the UK has had a notable and longstanding deficit in the balance of trade in goods. Overhauls which could help export revenue catch up with import revenue would be, in and of itself, a positive for UK businesses looking to expand their customer base.

Instead, on the anniversary of  Brexit’s implementation the goods trade deficit continued to widen by £8.7bn in the three months to January 2022 according to ONS figures, an increase worth around one fifth of the previously recorded deficit.

In the same period, the UK’s exports fell by 14%, against the backdrop of a surge in trade – with the global average recording an 8.2% bounce.

How logistics can support

 These figures cast a pessimistic outlook – but this is not necessarily the full picture. Independent research commissioned by One World Express found that one third (34%) of UK businesses had observed an uprise in demands for their goods or services in 2021.

In parallel to the steady trickle of new free trade agreements, there remains a number of exciting opportunities – if only UK businesses were positioned well enough to capitalise on them.

Modern logistics technology can provide much of the solution for businesses struggling to strategically scale up their capacity to meet the challenges of more far-reaching global trade operations.

The logistics industry is humming with innovation. Technological advancement is the most ubiquitous form of investment strategy across a sector with a striking degree of diversity and varying approaches. The issue often lies in the confidence of businesses to embrace new innovations.

This can take some time to bear fruit. For instance, cloud-based software to manage shipping Is now used by more than two-thirds of organisations in the UK – after a sustained period of incrementally growing saturation as businesses got to grips with what the tech means, and how it can add value and save costs within their operations.

Similar value-adding propositions with lower awareness on the buyer side lags behind for this reason. Software solutions which link up sales and supply processes, for example, are used by only one in five companies, despite the evident and valuable transparency and reliability these products lend businesses looking to attract and retain customers in a crowded eCommerce marketplace.

Clearly, there is room for the logistics industry to be more vocal about what it can offer businesses today as they look to approach new markets with lean, risk-averse, considered approaches.

We must also extol the virtues of more ‘traditional’ logistics, and ensure businesses are alert to the cost controls of a robust logistics strategy. For instance, at One World Express we combine our wealth of valuable industry expertise with first-class technology, allowing our customers to select shipping options based on real-time tariffs and shipping information. If delays are anticipated, or costs rising, along an established line of delivery to a new key target market, businesses are able to seamlessly switch shipping options to work with, and not against, the fluctuations in the supply chain.

Flexibility is the watchword for scaling businesses looking to carve out a niche in global markets. As such, it would be wise for businesses eyeing overseas markets for expansion to mitigate the risk factors by bringing in the wisdom and experience of a logistics advisor to help form their strategy. New tech will certainly be key implementations for any business hoping to establish dependable and cost-effective supply lines into new markets, but finding the right overall strategy for a business requires a human touch – and so the logistics industry, in its varied and dynamic form, is well-positioned to continue aiding businesses as expansion into new markets accelerates over the coming years.