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How Trade Tech Is Transforming Global Supply Chains

COVID-19 is often linked to its impact on mobility and globalization. Stringent measures have been taken to contain the situation, which have constrained the movement of people and goods, nationally and internationally. The coronavirus pandemic has also accelerated previously existing geopolitical trends, especially regarding trade protectionism associated with, for example,medical equipment, pharmaceutical products and COVID-19 vaccine-related research. This, in turn, continues to feed a技术人士zeitgeist as governments resort to export controls and sanctions in “strategic” sectors such as semiconductors and 5G networks and other so-called “dual use“技术。


管理Covid-19和技术民族主义挑战的新兴解决方案来自蓬勃发展的新领域T.rade Tech。T.he dynamics of the development in this field are captured in the new World Economic Forum report,Mapping Trade Tech: Trade in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

T.rade Tech

T.rade tech leverages the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence, 5G, cloud-based platforms and other Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to unlock new possibilities and enable transparency and traceability in digital trade and global value chains.

数字贸易的重要性也概述了2019 paper: Services trade is on a trajectory to outperform global goods trade. The authors of the report write: “In 2017, gross trade in services totaled $5.1 trillion, a figure dwarfed by the $17.3 trillion global goods trade. But trade in services has grown more than 60% faster than goods trade over the past decade.”

虽然政治和经济系统之间的差异是在解耦的轨迹上,但价值链周围正在分散不同的标准和价值观 - 这将对贸易技术造成挑战 - 仍然有很多机会在一个重要的增长行业中将这一领域变得很多。

T.hree areas, in particular, offer great promise for the future of trade tech.

  1. Expanding Upon Existing Supply Chain Technology


Initiatives such as IATA’s ONE Record in aviation or the TradeLens data-sharing environment for container ocean shipping intend to ease data-sharing and raise visibility. The maritime sector is also working on digital standards through the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA).


合规风险可以减轻通过独特的digital trade identities. In a digital world with limited travel, it is hard to know with whom we are dealing. Privately, a Google or Facebook identity can be used across multiple applications. But big businesses need to establish and maintain thousands of profiles, one for each application they use. This comes at a heavy cost and not without risk. While we are lacking a neutral entity that issues standardized and recognized identities for businesses, more reliable product identity technologies have emerged. Startups like Evrythng and Santrust, for example, have developed immutable QR codes to ensure authenticity of products.

T.echno-nationalism, accelerated by COVID-19, has disrupted supply chains and global commerce — but the need to manage new risks brings pressure for innovation to the trade tech field.

一段时间以来,出口软件解决方案helping companies and employees to increase efficiencies in document processing, execute export licensing and deal with denied parties lists. Compliance and performance traditionally go largely hand-in-hand, and many older, well-established software solutions will coalesce into new technology ecosystems.

  1. 贸易科技生态系统

T.he new constraints and risks such as trading restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and techno-nationalism create opportunities for startups and innovative companies. A buzzword in the fintech industry is “reg-tech.” Major banks are investing in know-your-customer, regulatory and onboarding technology to reduce risk and costs as part of the broader digital transformation agenda.


When sovereign interests and our own health are at risk, the stakes for private business are highest. With the expanded use of trade tech and reg-tech, the need for cybersecurity is also increasing, as the fight against cyber risk and cybercrime is fought with the most advanced and sophisticated “cyber weapons.”

  1. 从贸易技术到其他部门的有益溢出

Data analytics services cut across major parts of supply chain networks throughout the global economy. With their industry-agnostic solutions, data companies drive progress and innovation throughout the world. Specialized companies fill data gaps with their own or third-party sensors and analyze newly created data along with data that is stored in traditional systems. These companies, such as Navis and FourKites are themselves innovators, but they also create the foundations for others to innovate on, across all industries.

T.rade tech allows for the better management of sites, partners and activities far away. Technologies like 3D-printing, robotics and the internet of things allow for a much more distributed way of manufacturing and operating. While holding the global economy together, they also distribute the grounds for innovation and growth. Trade tech at large is driving many new solutions, ranging from better measurement and reduction of carbon footprints, to enforcement of labor standards, to tools that help to realize the circular economy — a model that fosters the reuse of products and materials to replace the take-make-waste approach.

最近surveyfinds that 70% of supply chain leaders are planning to invest in thecircular economyin the next 18 months. “Already, 35% of companies believe that digital technology will be a key enabler for their circular economy strategies, but very few are leveraging existing technology for this purpose yet,” says Sarah Watt, senior director analyst.

Sensors and satellite imagery combined with other technologies that provide additional data points can be used to trace carbon footprints, illicit discharge and water pollution, and enforce environmental standards for sustainably caught seafood. Many of these same technologies can also be used to track controlled technologies, from an export controls perspective, throughout global value chains.


Covid-19大流行加速的技术 - 民族主义已扰乱供应链和全球商业。但是,管理新风险的必要性为贸易科技领域提供了额外的创新压力,这反过来又产生了第四届工业革命技术和企业的新生态系统。这些解决方案提供了供应链的透明度和可追溯性,便于商业;除了提供小型和中型企业的可能性,可以更好地连接到全球市场。



Alex Capri

Senior Fellow at The National University of Singapore

作为一名高级伙伴the National University of Singapore, Alex Capri works with companies, NGOs and government policy makers regarding innovative, sustainable and ethical value chain management. He is a regular contributor to CNBC, BBC, Bloomberg, Channel News Asia and other media outlets. His research involves disruptive technology and how it impacts different areas of global value chains.

    Wolfgang Lehmacher

    Operating Partner at Anchor Group @W_Lehmacher

    Wolfgang Lehmacher is an operating partner of logistics at锚组。He is a global thought leader and practitioner in supply chain and logistics. He is a global executive, management consultant and entrepreneur with expertise in the field of supply chain, transportation and logistics. He was the former head of Supply Chain and Transport Industries at the World Economic Forum.

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