Logistics Know How

Navigate uncertain times with these five helpful tools

Looking back at 2020, we can see a year marked by a lot of change and uncertainty – with many countries still grappling with new lockdown measures and second waves. While there has been good news, with progress on vaccines in recent weeks, there will still be a level of uncertainty as we don't know what the new normal will look like in 2021. We show you five free tools which you can use to navigate your business through these uncertain times.

02 February 2021

As a small business, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed as you try and adapt to the changing economic conditions. That’s why we have gathered insights on how you can strengthen your supply chain in unprecedented times by looking into how big corporations have transformed their business.

But that’s not all, we also have great partnerships that help us provide you with knowledge and resources. One of these is our partnership with SheTrades, a global network from the International Trade Centre (ITC), which is committed to connecting women-owned businesses to international trade. We ran a webinar series for SMEs earlier this year alongside SheTrades and ITC – and since then, the ITC has established the Global Trade Helpdesk.

The Global Trade Helpdesk is a multi-agency initiative, that provides free and simple market research, analytics and trade information – on everything from imports, market dynamics, tariffs, regulatory requirements, potential buyers and more. The platform is free and you get all information in one place – you just need to log in.

The Global Trade Helpdesk is designed for SMEs – and a resource like this can be really helpfully for those businesses that don’t have the time or finances to conduct their own market or trade research. To help introduce the Global Trade Helpdesk, we’ve compiled five resources that you can access freely through the initiative – and how they could help your business, particularly in the wake of COVID-19:

1) Get the latest updates on economic policies – In this handy policy-tracker, created by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), you can see what policies different countries are putting in place to tackle the COVID pandemic. Under each country, you will find an overview of the health impact of COVID in the country, the economic implications, and whether stores, schools, borders, and transport options remain open. It also summarizes the policies that governments are putting in place to support businesses. If you’re an SME looking to reach a new market, use this to get a sense of how business is functioning in the country you’re interested in!

2) Understand import/export measures in place – Market Access Map, created by the International Trade Centre, provides you with a regularly updated, searchable database of export and import measures that countries are putting in place as a result of COVID-19. With some countries reducing import tariffs, for example, this is a great tool to help you understand whether there are any measures in place in your target markets that could help or hinder your business.

3) Get the latest UN reports on COVID-19 impacts – The United Nations Conference for Trade and Development has been publishing regular reports on a number of issues post-COVID-19. Whether you want to understand how COVID-19 has impacted e-commerce operations or you or you want more information on transitioning to a new normal in trade, this is the place for you!

4) Connect with pandemic-ready suppliers – It can be hard to find the right suppliers at the best of times, but if you’re looking for pandemic-related suppliers it can be even more difficult. Thankfully, the IDB Connect Americas Supplier Map has been created for just this purpose! Whether you’re looking for medical supplies, decision support or remote working systems and many more, this map will help connect you with the right people.

5) Adapt your operations with these reports – The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has created a COVID-19 Business Advisory Page – with a series of business guides and tools to help you adapt your business model and operations in the continued disruption. Amongst the reports is a Business Continuity Guide, an Employer Guide and recommendations related to trade, finance, taxation and more – all in one place.

Keep your cargo moving

At Twill we’re built to serve your interests as an SME and, being supercharged by industry leader Maersk, we work to put small businesses on a level playing field with the world’s biggest brands through our intuitive platform. With transparent and competitive pricing, and much more we can help your business flourish in uncertain times. We here to help, giving you a simple and understandable overview of your cargo's transportation – all while being able to access paperwork, make bookings in minutes and track cargo around the world.

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