The Biggest Logistics Challenges Facing Shippers in APAC Today

When it comes to global logistics, every corner of the world has a few quirks that shippers must navigate—but the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is its own beast entirely. Comprised of dozens of countries, each vastly different in terms of their native languages, business customs, and regulatory bodies, nothing about shipping in this region is homogenous, let alone simple.

For companies looking to expand into APAC or evaluate whether a logistics provider can meet their regional needs, it’s important to first fully understand what they’re up against. This market is full of opportunities, but it’s also home to many pitfalls that can bring a shipper’s productivity and profitability crashing down—if they’re unprepared.

No consistency, lots of complexity

Since the APAC region is made up of such a diverse body of countries, there’s not a great deal of consistency when it comes to things like taxes and duties. For shippers and providers that lack hands-on experience in the region, this complexity can make it incredibly difficult to ensure they’re properly calculating duty rates and paying what needs to be paid.

This can result in pricey penalties—and even if the mistake was made by the provider, it’s the shipper that may feel the sting. Repeat or egregious mistakes can ultimately result in a shipper having their import and export privileges revoked, so the cost of ill-preparedness can be high.

Further complicating matters is the lack of logistics standardization in APAC, which can leave shippers struggling to keep track of invoices submitted in a myriad of formats and currencies. Paying them in a timely fashion is one thing, but confirming accuracy and gaining region-wide visibility over freight spend can be nearly impossible without a strong and reliable process in place.

Tightening regulations and a compliance headache

While shipping in APAC is complex now, it may only become more complicated in years to come. The region’s constantly evolving regulatory framework is making it increasingly difficult for shippers to remain compliant.

For one thing, non-tariff measures are on the rise. Some products are also regulated in certain countries, and it isn’t always obvious which ones—but failure to account for this can result in shippers running up against bans and exorbitant duty rates. Keeping up to date with the region’s regulatory rules is critical, but doing so can sometimes feel like a full-time job.

An uncertain future plagued by political tension

Moving goods in and out of China is particularly challenging right now as a result of the China-U.S. trade war. Tensions between the two governments are high—as are the resulting tariffs. The future of trade between these nations is uncertain, and shippers are paying the price.

Amidst these major disruptions and shifts in the region’s shipping patterns, shippers may need to consider alternative routes. Those that don’t or can’t may struggle to find capacity when they need it most as some carriers scale back their fleets, fearing low demand. This could result in lengthy delays—and unhappy customers.

Experience makes all the difference

To survive and thrive in the APAC region, shippers need an experienced hand at the wheel. A logistics provider that doesn’t understand the region’s nuances and complexities will only steer shippers into troubled waters. But with a provider like CTSI-Global, it’s smooth sailing ahead.

We have company-owned-and-operated facilities all around the world, and our APAC hub in Singapore means we’re fully committed to keeping pace with the region’s ever-changing shipping needs. We don’t watch from afar—we’ve got boots on the ground and we’re in the thick of it every day.

Discover what a difference experience makes. Contact us today.

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