USPS Roundtable on Cross-border Ecommerce: Discussion Highlights
Posted on September 16th, 2015

Global business-to-consumer ecommerce — valued at more than $1.2 trillion in 2013 — is expected to grow in the coming years at a faster pace than the U.S. domestic ecommerce market.  However, less than 1 percent of the 30 million American small business firms participate in cross-border sales, lower than many other industrialized countries. Those facts framed a recent roundtable discussion convened by the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General; highlights of the discussion are captured in Cross-border E-commerce: An International Roundtable Recap (Issue Brief RARC-IB-007).
Discussants noted that cross-border sales can be expensive, convoluted, and time-consuming. Small firms have fewer resources to handle this complexity, and they often are underserved by existing solutions providers. Roundtable speakers identified major challenges in global ecommerce centered on logistics, customs clearance, regulations, market visibil­ity, security, and technology. Participants also observed that there is room for the Postal Service to expand its role. Currently, its international business accounts for just 1 percent of the Postal Service’s total mail volume and its products are limited to traditional shipping services.
To read the full report, click here.

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