Industry collaboration: the route to the future

This year alone we’ve seen endless headlines warning: ‘materials shortage poses biggest challenge to housebuilders[1], ‘UK facing summer of food shortages due to lack of lorry drivers’[2] and even ‘Christmas turkey supplies at risk’[3]. All of these examples have, in some way, been created by import and export challenges as the result of the extraordinary perfect storm of Brexit, the pandemic and the unprecedented, isolated event in the Suez canal. The former two events bringing about permanent macro changes to the import/export sector, over which we have no control.

This is just another example of the extraordinary pace of change in industry seen across every sector and geographical market. We’re told that we are in the age of the fourth industrial revolution – these rapid advancements have never before been experienced in business or society. Yet, within the imports/exports business I sense a resistance to the inevitable evolution. By this I mean both adapting to our new circumstances and embracing the advances in technology that will help us to do so.

It’s human nature to resist change and we’re all guilty of digging in our heels from time-to-time. But we must resist our natural protectionist behaviours to evolve our industry for the benefit of all.

Today anyone dealing with imports/exports is often facing a lack of transparency, inconsistent or even surprise handling charges, a limited number of agents and a reluctance to share information with all parties in the chain. The result is confusion, delays and unnecessary costs.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

It’s time for us to abandon our siloed approach to supply chain management, with each freight forwarder, border agent and customs official narrowly focused on their own responsibilities in the chain, and instead begin to embrace a new collaborative and joined-up approach to our services.

At KlearNow Customs our mission is to be make global logistics simpler. By sharing information across the entire supply chain we are able to create a simple and cost-effective process for our customers and yours. Through bringing together the work of customs agents, brokers, freight forwarders and hauliers on one digital platform, driven by artificial intelligence, we have created complete visibility across the supply chain. This benefits everyone by eliminating mistakes and simplifying communication.

We are not alone in our goal to create a new collaborative environment. We are also not alone in experiencing resistance to this change. However, we are optimistic. We know that by bringing together the joint forces, insight and expertise of every player in the chain and layering that with today’s technology we will be creating an industry that is fully adapted to our new circumstances.

But we can’t just focus on today, because for all the future is more uncertain that it has ever been. By reshaping our culture to foster collaboration and transparency we will be future proofing ourselves, creating an industry poised to work together to adapt to the challenges thrown at us.


[1] https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/supply-chain/materials-shortage-poses-biggest-challenge-to-housebuilders-01-07-2021/

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/jun/25/uk-facing-summer-of-food-shortages-due-to-lack-of-lorry-drivers

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/jul/11/uk-food-worker-shortages-push-prices-up-and-risk-christmas-turkey-supplies

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