Stephen Dascoli & Vincent Lacopella talk about cross-border ecommerce - the challenges & opportunities; the importance of technology; and market growth.

406: Unlock the Opportunities of Cross-Border Ecommerce, with CargoWise

Today I’m joined, once again, by leading cloud-based software brand, CargoWise.

CargoWise is a single source, deeply integrated, and truly global platform designed to meet the diverse needs of the logistics industry. From small and medium-sized supply chain providers to multinational freight forwarding operations, CargoWise’s highly flexible and feature-rich system delivers powerful productivity, extensive functionality, comprehensive integration and deep international compliance capabilities.

Today Stephen Dascoli and Vincent Lacopella will be talking to me about international and cross-border ecommerce. They’ll be telling me all about what’s driving impressive growth in the market; the challenges and opportunities of embracing this growth; the role of technology in helping organizations to realize faster, safer, and more reliable ecommerce operations; and exactly why cross-border shopping is here to stay.

Guest bios:

Stephen Dascoli, Senior Product Manager – Ecommerce at CargoWise. Stephen has almost two decades of experience in the logistics industry, which has included working for a CargoWise Partner, and managing the global ecommerce operations of an international freight forwarder. In his current role, he is responsible for integrating CargoWise’s international forwarding, customs, warehouse, and last mile carrier management into the platform’s international ecommerce solution. He holds various certifications in logistics and international trade, IT, and business from The University of Sydney Business School.

Vincent Lacopella, Executive Vice President – Growth and Strategy at Alba Wheels Up International. Over 30 years, Vince managed global relationships in Asia Pacific markets with cross-border imports and exports considered trade sensitive for U.S Government Agencies, such as CBP, FDA, and others. At Alba Wheels Up, Vince is part of a senior team that is responsible for efforts in growth and development and new service lines such as e-commerce services, global enterprise accounts and partners, and strategic mergers and acquisitions. Vince is a licensed Customs Broker and past president of the Los Angeles Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association. Vince is Chairman of the Pacific Coast Council of Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Associations. In March 2013, he was appointed to the 13th Commercial Customs Advisory Committee for Customs and Border Protection, better known as COAC. This 20-member federal advisory committee advises the secretaries of the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Homeland Security on the commercial operations of CBP and related DHS and Treasury functions. Vince served on the 14th COAC as Trade co-chair. Vince serves as Chair of the District Export Council of Southern Council, serves on the Board of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the Board of Governors of the American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI). In 2022 Vince was appointed to the UCLA Aderson Forecast Board of Advisors. Vince was the 2020 recipient of the Stanley T Olafson Award, awarded by the LA Area Chamber of Commerce.

IN THIS EPISODE WE DISCUSS:

[07.24] Introductions to Stephen and Vincent, and their roles at CargoWise and Alba Wheels Up.

[09.58] The rapid rise in ecommerce, and the factors driving its international growth.

“As consumers, we want convenience. You can compare prices, it’s cheap… cross-border ecommerce is going to continue to grow.”

[11.54] The impressive growth rate we can expect in ecommerce, and what that growth means for the industry and the different players within it.

“The pandemic saw some changes in the way ecommerce was shipped… with more growth comes more opportunities for forwarders, but also more challenges.”

[15.04] From compliance and regulations to capacity, the big challenges posed by cross-border ecommerce growth and how they’re affecting the B2B supply chain.

“Surging B2C commerce is going to continue to put pressure on small to medium sized forwarders – the volume that the ecommerce giants ship these days, they’re taking up all the capacity with carriers and making it hard for small-to-mids in the international space.”

[18.50] The growing opportunities for forwarders in cross-border D2C ecommerce fulfillment.

“We see huge opportunity on the southern border, a lot of companies are looking to put inventory there, and keep it there until it’s sold… companies that don’t do that, and still pay duty on that D2C, might be at a disadvantage because of the pricing.”

[23.42] Why forwarders are recognizing this time of growth and becoming proactive; and how they’re tackling the challenges, embracing the opportunities, and making the operational changes needed to ensure success.

“They’re recognizing that if they don’t have the capabilities in the cross-border ecommerce space, they’re going to have to eventually, or they’re going to miss out… They’re working it out, doing the research, talking to the right people so, once that opportunity comes up, they’ve got the right tools, they’re in the right place, they’ve got the resources – and they can jump on it.”

[27.14] How technology is helping organizations to realize faster, safer, and more reliable cross‑border ecommerce order fulfillment.

“The competition in the space, with such little margins – you can’t just throw people at the problem, the overheads of throwing labor at it just isn’t going to work… organizations must utilize technology to automate their processes.”

[28.51] Alba Wheels Up’s long-standing relationship with CargoWise, and the benefits it brings.

[31.26] How investment in technology has allowed Alba Wheels Up to take advantage of opportunities presented by international ecommerce fulfilment, and boost their business intelligence and customer service.

[33.34] Vincent’s advice for how organizations should approach opening themselves up to international ecommerce, and the challenges and opportunities it brings.

“We’re in this debate in the customs brokerage community about Section 321… so companies need to figure out how they’re going to operate in the space, how are they going to take advantage of what’s going on? Because I don’t see any big regulatory changes on the horizon that are going to change the trend.”

[36.29] The typical questions and concerns of brands looking to partner with CargoWise, and Stephen’s advice for overcoming volume and data fears.

“Don’t be afraid of the amount of data there is. The majority of that data (if you do it the right way), you can validate it, screen it – it’s only a small portion of that data that you actually need to action.”

[38.20] The future for cross-border ecommerce, and how we can expect to see the market continue to grow.

 

RESOURCES AND LINKS MENTIONED:

 

Head over to CargoWise’s website now to find out more, download their free ecommerce eBook, or request a cross-border ecommerce consultation. You can also connect with CargoWise and keep up to date with the latest over on LinkedIn, YouTube, X (Twitter) or Facebook, or you can connect with Stephen or Vincent on LinkedIn.

If you enjoyed this episode and want more, we have lots more amazing CargoWise content for you! Check out 346: Enable and Empower Your Supply Chain, with WiseTech, 367: Going Beyond Visibility – Unveiling The Invisible, 369: From Chaos To Clarity: Simplifying Global Customs Compliance, 371: Going Beyond Visibility – From Risk to Resilience: How Technology Is Transforming Global Supply chains, or 373: Going Beyond Visibility – Culture and Digitization.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

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