Global Customs: Changes and Challenges Amidst the Global Shipping Crisis [PODCAST]

Written by Expeditors
26 minute read


Taking a break from our Digital Solutions series on the Visibility Economy, today's episode will be all about customs and four key pressures: complexity, geo-political issues, security, and innovation. Senior Vice President of Global Customs Dana Lorenze breaks down the challenges these four topics pose to customs and what customers should know as they work through the global shipping crisis.



Chris Parker: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Expeditors Podcast, where you can hear about front-of-mind topics in the logistics and freight forwarding industry through the lens of a global logistics provider. I'm your host, Chris Parker, and today, we're taking a quick break from our series on the visibility economy to dive back into the global shipping crisis with a particular focus on customs. As ships are backed up, what's going on behind the scenes to clear those shipments, how are trade agreements and customs processes changing between countries, and ultimately, why should you care? To lay it all out is our Senior Vice President of Global Customs, Dana Lorenze. Dana, welcome to the podcast.

Dana Lorenze: Hello, Chris, and hello, everybody. Nice to be here. Thank you.

Chris Parker: Let's get a little background on you first before we dive into today's topic. Could you walk me through your career here at Expeditors and your time before Expeditors and how you fell into customs? Or not fell into customs. How you pursued and plowed the way towards customs.

Dana Lorenze: That's funny. Sure. I started out a long, long time ago because I am ancient now, but when I graduated from college, they didn't even have international supply chain degrees. I did graduate, though, with a degree in international business with a minor in poli-sci, so I was always kind of interested in the world of international trade. And a college professor actually said to me, "If you want to learn international trade in its raw form, work for a customs broker and then get out." That was his advice. I obviously listened to part of that.

Dana Lorenze: I started a long, long time ago, fresh out of college, as a broker just doing entries, and then I got into the other aspects of our business and worked for a large freight forwarding company, and then I joined Expeditors in 1995, and I joined actually in a sales function. Then, I had spent a pretty significant portion of my time doing route development between countries, and various countries, actually, not just in Europe and the US, but Asia as well. I started broadening my horizon and what my view was of the world back as a fairly young person in sales.

Dana Lorenze: Then I had the opportunity for management, and I came back into the customs role as the brokerage manager and then import manager. Then, through there, in Los Angeles actually, there happened to be a very large import operation, had the opportunity to run a couple of offices and I was a district manager for two different offices for seven years. And then, I've been in the corporate global customs role, took on the Director of Global Customs. Really, it was 11 years ago now. I can't believe it. Or going on 11 years, I should say.

Dana Lorenze: So I've been at the company total of... it's coming up on 27, and I've now been responsible for the global customs product since 2016, so the company has taken on a lot of interest in global customs, and the world has actually demanded that as well. There's lots of stuff going on, but the principles apply, and now it's definitely global scale. That's sort of the story of my life and why I'm still interested in global trade.

Chris Parker: I've been with Expeditors for almost 10 years now, and... Oh, my gosh, yeah, that went by real fast. Throughout my time, I've always kept hearing how much of a special history we have with customs. Could you talk a little bit about that?

Dana Lorenze: Oh, yeah, it's a good question. Back in the day, there were logistics, there were freight forwarders, and there were cargo movement companies, and then there were customs brokers, and they were not the same company. So, when Expeditors established operations, 1979, and went public after that, it was revolutionary to combine... as an air freight forwarder who also offered customs brokerage services. And it wasn't by accident, it was by plan, and it continues to be by plan, because there's a whole lot of value that comes from understanding customs, and the roots of our company are heavily ingrained in that. Most of our executive team are licensed brokers. It's just deep, deep, deep in our core.

Chris Parker: All right, so let's go ahead and talk about today, because there is a lot to cover for this topic. Headlines that I'm seeing are full of talk about capacity shortages and the global shipping crisis. What's going on in the world of customs? I don't see a lot of headlines as relates to customs.

Dana Lorenze: Not at this moment.

Chris Parker: Yeah, right. It's coming.

Dana Lorenze: Not at this moment. I think you do see them, you just don't realize they're tied to customs, actually.

Chris Parker: Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Dana Lorenze: And I think that's part of why I preach... While you're busy with all your supply chain concerns, customs is part of the supply chain. It's not contrary to the supply chain. Obviously, going back several years, the trade wars have been in the news. Even still, you see all these trade actions, and we'll talk about that. These headlines are not so bold anymore, only focused on trade wars, which was about tariffs increasing, duty payments, and tax specifically, but a lot of these things are still happening, and not behind the scenes, they're just not the thing that's causing the most amount of pain. These things went on before. They were in the headlines. They're still kind of in the headlines, but in different forms, and they have the same impact. It's taking people away from, "Hey, while you're still doing this, be aware that all this other activity is still going on that you should be aware of and you should plan for, and not in the future. You should be doing things about it now." What's going on in 2021 is actually not just started at the January mark, although some things that I'll talk about obviously.

Chris Parker: Sure.

Dana Lorenze: Some of this stuff was actually happening before, in the pre-pandemic environment, during the pandemic, but what's going on in terms of the things that we're currently talking about kind of relate to four major topics. There's a lot of pressures going on in this current world in this current year, and the first topic would relate to complexity, and I'll go into that in a minute. The second topic is geopolitical and environmental issues. The third is on the security initiative side, and a lot of these things are not necessarily bad, but what were tariff and trade wars resulting in maybe security concerns now. So, it's not separate. It's actually tied to a more... an iterative event of what was happening before, and the security concerns are growing, and they're interrelated. And then, innovation is the fourth pressure, which I know a lot of people think, "Well, why would that be pressure? It's just..."

Chris Parker: "That's great!"

Dana Lorenze: Yeah. "It's actually the panacea." Well, I'm here to tell you that perhaps not all new technology is perfect when it's created.

Dana Lorenze: In the realm of complexity, the number one thing is... the whole scale of complexity is that the world has gotten faster and faster, and the number of items moving around the world's gotten greater and greater, and the need for speed has gotten bigger and bigger. So, how do you scale your business to doing that when it used to be a singular container, a couple of containers, on a bill of lading, a singular declaration, a couple of products on a purchase order? That was the world we used to live in, and that was not that long ago. But because of the supply chain concerns, or because of bottlenecks, or because data is faster, and because, in large part, e-commerce, a lot of this is about the way people not only shop online...

Dana Lorenze: E-commerce is funny, because it's comprehensive. It's not just from someone's garage to someone's garage. People are ordering online. They're expecting immediate results from that. They want it to show up exactly as they want it when they want it, but to get to that level, there's a whole lot of complexity and scalability with that, right? And how do you manage an explosive number of things in the world... aren't always just the explosive number of packages.

Dana Lorenze: And as it relates to trade, the reason I'm saying this is that what used to be a fairly simple supply chain that was actually quite linear, and the items to be concerned about are sort of in a haystack that's much bigger. And a lot of the complexity comes from the rules and the regulations and the enforcement, and all the stuff that's going on about that are geared toward now trying to find a singular bad actor in a group of things that are good.

Dana Lorenze: I always talk about targeting in this area, because it relates to all the data that's being amassed, facilitation agreements, the SAFe framework of standards. A lot of things have been done to facilitate trade. That has resulted in goods clearing really, really quick, but it's not unusual to have multiple thousands of lines of items, of data, in a singular transaction today, and trying to get to the one thing that's not perfect, because although this is not public news, not everything is perfect in the world, and it doesn't always add up the right way.

Chris Parker: You heard it here first, folks.

Dana Lorenze: I know, I know. And it took an expert to tell you this. Amazing. So, because these pieces are not connected, your order doesn't match necessarily the invoice that you create in your system. And when goods are leaving a warehouse, it's as mundane as the container doors shut, the seal's made, and someone runs back to a terminal and goes, "I think this is what was shipped." Now, hopefully, that stuff is automated, but sometimes, they make mistakes on that.

Dana Lorenze: Sometimes, they left boxes behind, and they thought that that order was actually shipped, but in fact, it wasn't. So, all of that goes into what a declaration is, and when that becomes automated, and people are sending massive volumes of information because the entries are getting bigger and bigger, there might be three things that are missing on that, or the value of it was wrong because they thought they had a certificate that claimed that it was free trade. It's just minutiae.

Dana Lorenze: But that's a tax statement for a particular declaration. A government might say, and this goes into the targeting discussion, "Of those 16,000 lines of data, I want to see these three things," and they might say, "I want to see the documents that support this. I want to see the trade preference certificate that supports that. And by the way, how do you know this was actually made in XYZ country?" You have to stop what you're doing, and it's not automated at that point. You have to actually, physically stop. You have to figure out where in the 16,000 lines of data there might be an opportunity to get it more right next time. You know what I mean?

Chris Parker: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Dana Lorenze: That's what I'm talking about. It's not fancy, but that's the work that, really, brokers do.

Chris Parker: Yeah. And then, as things are moving through multiple countries, there are just so many hands involved in these processes. Agreements, right? There has to be some kind of mutual understanding between countries and such. Has it grown in complexity at all?

Dana Lorenze: Oh, it has. It has. Trade agreements have been... the granddaddy of it, a long, long time ago, was NAFTA. Well, that started all sorts of modern trade agreements. It wasn't the initial trade agreement by any stretch, but it was a more modern version of one. And obviously, recently, now NAFTA is known as USMCA, but the idea is, what was once stable and set is now changing quickly. Trade agreements were becoming more and more complex because there are more and more countries that want preferential treatment, and I'm not going to get into the political world of it, but not all countries see eye-to-eye. I know that's, again, a news flash for most people.

Dana Lorenze: But in the customs realm, as an example, they're there to protect the borders according to the sovereignty and the regulations and rules and the interests of those countries they represent. They don't create the regulations, really. They're there to enforce the regulations that are there to protect whatever the interests of that country are. So, trade agreements are obviously meant to produce a financial viability and a growth pattern between countries that say, "We should work together to build trade up between our two nations, and in doing that, we're going to offer preferential treatment." So, maybe lower rates of duty or no quotas for that particular item or the ability to enter a market. It's market access.

Dana Lorenze: So, all of that is the positive side of trade agreements. The negative side of trade agreements is that it doesn't include everybody. It doesn't include every item. It's not open to all individuals. It opens companies up to audit. And in the past, there was lots of talk... when the TPP or the various trade agreements out there that were multilateral, that that was sort of becoming a more common theme, four years ago. What's happened progressively over the last, really, four years, is that these are becoming more bilateral trade agreements. And this is, again, as a representative of... not global, but the interests of the US or other countries. There are actually multi-country agreements that they're still in play, but if you look at, as an example, Brexit, you have some agreements that are now bilateral, then you have multi-country agreements to protect what was a zero rate of duty when it was all one region, and now it's the European Union and the UK. Right? As an example.

Dana Lorenze: And none of these agreements are identical to the next, so it's a bit like a snowflake. Even though you might know the rules of origin or the particular parameters of valuation or labor costs, you may not know that for every country, for every agreement. And so, you really have to have good legal counsel, good financial records. You have to have good supply chain sourcing profiles. You have to know your bill of materials in order to comply. So, I always say that free trade is actually a misnomer because there's nothing cost-free about trade agreements. But the benefit if you're really good at it or you have a stable supply chain, people can save enormous amounts of money by properly taking advantage of the various trade agreements out there.

Chris Parker: Next up, you had geopolitical/environmental issues. We already talked about Brexit a little bit, but we're looking at sanctions and pandemics, and could you start with that?

Dana Lorenze: Sure. And I did mention Brexit, but this is indicative of where the world is going, and I'm not necessarily saying countries or states are going to splinter apart, but there's definitely in this world a movement toward regionalization or localization or sourcing domestically or supporting domestic environments. There's been a shift back from globalism to localism, and I think it's more a sign of what's to come. It's not to say... I don't have a crystal ball, and it's not a prediction of economic events, but Brexit was severe and unique in that it was nothing, nothing, nothing but talk, and people sort of lost sight that that actually may happen. And then, all of a sudden...

Chris Parker: It did.

Dana Lorenze: It already happened, and then the date was on the calendar. While we're busy trying to find containers in transit, and while freight is moving in a different way than it had in the past, and the constraints are enormous, these types of events are not stopping while freight is still sort of happening. Right? So, that geopolitical environment is as intense, if not more so, than it ever was.

Dana Lorenze: And again, there's lots of news like sanctions, various countries being included in sanctions, and that's the new... it's a financial tool, obviously, to control geopolitical relations between countries. Well, those sanctions are escalating, and those sanctions can potentially become even militaristic, quite frankly. That goes into the next section on security, but how that relates to trade is, again, these borders, the border security, the governments or the administrations within governments that are there to protect the borders, have all these laws and that affects your supply chain and the buying and selling of goods.

Dana Lorenze: And so, that's kind of what's continuing to happen, and the pandemic had some really positive impacts on maybe allowing goods to clear for medical purposes, or doing digital signatures or virtual audits. But what is sometimes happening in those countries where there was reliance on an individual shipment, an individual document, or a lot of physical presence at the time of content checks, as the countries go back into whatever the new normal is, it's even more complicated, and that makes trade more complicated, too. Because you might have a digital path, on one hand, one day, and it might switch back to paper and signatures and physical checks the next, and virtually nothing changed other than that's their way of enforcement. So it goes back and forward, I guess, depending on what's happening in the world of health right now, too.

Chris Parker: Yeah. It's such an interesting way to put that. Yeah, through this pandemic, there have been some... I guess realizations, and I guess identifying inefficiencies of, "Why are we doing it this way?" And like, "Let's get those digital signatures going. Let's automate this a little bit more. Let's digitize things." That's definitely changing, but I imagine too that there's a level of adjustment to these kinds of things, and that can open up to some vulnerabilities. Could you talk a little bit about the security aspect of customs and how that's being affected?

Dana Lorenze: Yeah, there's the actual risk of, "Hey, all this data's out there, and maybe we don't want all that data out there," and it becomes a cybersecurity risk, right? Or global data privacy. But there's also the positive that again, technology doesn't solve all the problems, it uncovers the problems that existed and makes it more evident faster. So, the risk is also in that whatever you think of as data... I think in the past, they thought because it was manual, it was slower or ineffective. What's happening because of all this data that's out there is that it's not because it was manual that there was a problem. There's effectively holes in the supply chain that are not to be masked now that it's digitized. And there's a risk. There is not just a risk of cybersecurity. There's a risk that it never existed in the first place.

Dana Lorenze: So, it just uncovers things that... maybe not always traumatic, but it's there, and that kind of goes into why targeting comes into play. Because there's so much data, it's much easier to spot when there isn't data to support whatever it is. Or, if you wanted to audit a particular thing, the governments have access to... hey, there's a potential security risk or a manifest question, or they can do infrared exams that produce like, "I want to see that one particular thing." All this data doesn't necessarily facilitate a supply chain's post-entry requirements or penalty situations. It actually increases the opportunity for enforcement post-border transaction. Or, if it's truly a security risk, meaning militaristic or things that are obviously of a big concern, they can stop it before it even enters the border, at the time that it hasn't even left origin yet. So, there's just a lot more activity at the point of, "I want to stop it before it does something bad to the citizens in my country."

Chris Parker: Yeah, I was going to ask, who's doing the targeting, and who's getting targeted? It's for that post-border enforcement, right? When things slip through the cracks or when it has to be addressed after the fact of goods clearing past borders, all this data allows for government entities or whomever to clear things up, more or less? Is that what you're saying?

Dana Lorenze:
As it relates to this topic, yes. From a trade standpoint, for sure, it allows them to specifically look at a specific item, because they have the ability to now say, "Hey, over the last 18,000 shipments, you had X, X, X, and now you have Y. Why, on this one shipment, do you have something different?" That would've been impossible in a manual environment. So, they have access to that in far greater algorithms and data tables. But the other side of data and security is that everyone believes that... offshoring becomes a big discussion point.

Dana Lorenze: A lot of manufacturers or providers of services use data centers, and they have people typing away in various places because again, data doesn't just happen by magic. It generally starts with someone doing something that then is recorded somewhere. When that is offshored or put in a place, and it's transposed from, really, who owns it, the risk in the data from a security standpoint is that what you're looking at may not be the originator of that information, so you have governance discussions and all that.

Dana Lorenze: And as it relates to trade, it's not to make people crazy, but you can't trust things at face value, and you have the ability now to look for anomalies like never before. But more data is not always better, and it can actually add to the confusion. So, all of this is good, but bad, if you take it to the extreme.

Chris Parker: Sure, sure. Okay, so now we're talking about all this data. I wanted to move on to this topic of innovation. It sounds like a good thing, but why is it causing pressure in customs?

Dana Lorenze: Yeah. There's a couple of reasons. And again, all of these things start out for good intent and good reasons, and there's the "but" that's coming here. When people make really interesting products, and they have really interesting solutions, in order to get that to the market, they have to test things, and there's no basis for that test. So, there may not be a product that exists like that out in the universe, and it may look really good and act really good in a control environment or test, but by the time it starts scaling, you realize that wait, it wasn't intended to support this massive industrial use, as an example.

Dana Lorenze: I have sourcing in this, too, because as people are getting good about sourcing around the world, maybe because of trade wars, or because there have been shifts in labor, or shifts in COVID, quite frankly, it's like you have to rapidly be able to figure out... or nearshoring events, or regionalization. You have to quickly shift your supply chain to find other manufacturers of that, and that is innovation, too. So, you might have a more unique product that's created in a place that had not been used to creating that product. Trying to find trends and patterns that were logical before... just the velocity and the dynamicism of that environment is shifting so quickly.

Dana Lorenze: And the other side of that is there's a lot of noise out there. Not all, again, innovation is great until it gets proven, and not all things that are secure and old are better, though, either. It's knowing when to pull in new stuff and knowing when to test things without taking down the stable structure and having an infrastructure do both. I think our customers, the industry, governments, they're all trying to understand as these flows are changing rapidly, how do you not be asleep at the wheel, but how do you not adapt everything and actually destroy the things that are working? If that makes any sense.

Chris Parker: Right, right, right. Yeah, how do you not set this all on fire and try to keep this going?

Dana Lorenze: Yeah, exactly. There's a lot of stuff through artificial intelligence, machine learning, optical character recognition, robotic processes. All that stuff is amazingly important to test and really producing some great thoughts and proofs of concepts, but there's a lot of noise in the industry, too. And if you get too caught up in needing to jump on board, again, not all digitization or digital processes mean that the processes themselves are better, it's the people, the knowledge, and the process that has to be understood first before you overlay it with a digital solution.

Chris Parker: You keep bringing up that in order to get into this realm of digitization, in order to get into this realm of automation, people have to start the process. This is very a people-dependent aspect of trade, of shipping. Is that ever going away? Why are people so important to this?

Dana Lorenze: Yeah, I'm a big believer that you may not need the same type of people doing the same type of activities, but you can't get it to a point where you don't have knowledge and expertise, because... It's not that the world is so special that you can't figure out a way to automate or make processes efficient, but without people really understanding, how do the laws and what's happening in the news become actual regulations that become declaration requirements? That stuff doesn't happen overnight, and you have to sort of be a student of the industry constantly, and you have to actually invest in that knowledge.

Dana Lorenze: People that measure productivity only in the matter of how many buttons can they push on a desk and call that, like, "That's all the people we need," it erases... It's the brains within those bodies that are doing that work. You could get brilliant people, but in the wrong jobs, and if they don't really... They might understand how to program like crazy, but they don't understand how much volume moves through supply chains and how many things are out there, that you do need to combine practical, boots-on-the-ground operational expertise and how the regulations come to where the rubber hits the road, to a declaration, as an example. That value can't be shortchanged, and so I do absolutely believe that the knowledge is a really critical factor, and it's not something that is one and done. It's a continuous process.

Chris Parker: Absolutely. I really like how you said that "being students of the industry." There's constant learning to be done, and it does require that human touch. As we cover these four kind of headaches, what's being learned from it, and how are either trade authorities or shippers, forwarders, carriers... how is everyone addressing all this rapid complexity that's happening right now?

Dana Lorenze: That's a good question. I think people are coming at it from different angles, and there's a marketing aspect to it. There's a labor aspect to it. I mean, again, it's not divorced from the supply chain. There are only so many people out there that A, want this kind of work, or B, are knowledgeable enough to actually solve these pretty complex problems. There was a time there that everyone thought everything was just going to be automated, and overnight, we were all going to lose our jobs. And then, the economy shifts or supply chain matters happen, and really, the roots of it are supply-and-demand-driven.

Dana Lorenze: I think the lessons can be learned is don't neglect the fact that... I mean, there are no crystal balls, but you can read the newspapers. You can watch for what's happening in the regulations. You should never be asleep by the quiet things that people aren't talking about as much anymore. You should be more concerned that they weren't solved before, and they haven't been solved yet. It will manifest itself again. So, that's sort of my... What we can learn from it is, don't think that if you know something right now that that knowledge will stay the same for literally ever, and that you do constantly have to take a look at what's going on, not only now, but how people are behaving and what changes are coming down the path.

Dana Lorenze: I think figuring out what the priority issues are now is important, but figuring out what the priority issues, trade issues, are going to be in the next five years, that's not something you should think about five years later. You should be thinking about that...

Chris Parker: Yeah, right now.

Dana Lorenze: Yeah.

Chris Parker: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. And while folks should be focusing on things now, I guess, what should they be considering? What kind of change is coming?

Dana Lorenze: Well, as I mentioned, the world swung back to more enforcement post-border. So things are clearing very quickly across borders. There's a whole lot of pressure in the e-commerce environment and just the way the world expects goods to move, and just being able to be a singular inspector looking at a singular shipment is not the way, really, borders should flow. But with all this data, and with the governments being less trade-friendly, quite frankly, they're more trade enforcement-friendly. Trade enforcement is really the other side of trade facilitation. It's the same coin. You can't have enforcement without facilitation, and you can't truly facilitate legitimate trade if it's not transparent.

Dana Lorenze: So, I think that with more and more countries, that that enforcement is becoming even greater, and it will manifest itself in a lot more export controls rather than... historically, import was the big compliance concern. Export controls are a massive concern. I think that just because goods clear quickly doesn't mean there won't be penalties after the fact, because customs and other government agencies can take their time to figure out what didn't look perfect, and they still have a lot of time to do audits and issue penalty notices.

Dana Lorenze: Everybody is evolving, so the more technology, the more innovation, all the things that we're talking about, that's not changing. It's actually becoming dramatically faster, and the governments are changing their systems to adapt to the new environment. And sourcing shifts, all the things that we're talking about, that's what is still coming, and there will be more laws coming to protect the shifts as they happen, so it's sort of like, don't think this is just a supply and demand issue. All this stuff, the way you order and who you buy from and who you sell to, governments are watching. In a good way, because they're trying to protect your life, too. It's going to result in shifting priorities, but definitely more enforcement right now.

Dana Lorenze: And the one thing I didn't mention, and I think it is important, there are a lot of activities about forced labor these days, too, and that is about making sure that goods are produced with labor that is not coerced. And on one hand, it's obviously incredibly positive that people want to prevent that, but the net that is being cast on that subject right now... They're trying to weed out bad actors doing bad things, and some highly transparent and legitimate supply chains are getting called into question, because you may not know exactly what the root of that particular raw material is, and that may actually come from things where forced labor is used. So, that net is getting cast broader and broader in more than one country. Several countries. And that's something to watch for, because that's something that is not going to go away.

Chris Parker: Okay, so this brings me to my last question here, as I look back on this discussion and ones that I've had in the past in previous episodes, there's a sense that attention to logistics and supply chains is makings its way up the leadership ladder, up to the C-suite. Executives are paying attention to what is going on in logistics. What would you say is important for someone to know, or for them to understand, or convey to executives when it comes to customs and trying to get more space at the planning table?

Dana Lorenze: Oh, that's a good question. I have to say that my opinion of it is that people are very focused on the here and now. What gets landed in the C-suite is generally the strategic vision of the company for the future, or, "What is the biggest pain point right now, and why are we not making money?" Or, "Why are our customers not getting product?" Those kinds of things. I would say that as part of trade, opportunities are missed when, again, you look at it only in... what is the disruption that should land in the CEO's desk? That's not a well-planned activity.

Dana Lorenze: Organizations that only look at, "What is causing me pain right now?", or they have a procurement cycle that means, "I have to go to bid every year, and I'm going to choose a new player in this market based off of the lowest cost for this one particular portion of my business," you're missing a valuable opportunity to, say, integrating with a partner who actually has a comprehensive reach in knowledge and can be flexible and offer some advice that's not unilateral based off of a grid on an RFP or on a procurement checklist, right? Not to sneeze at those requirements, because they keep companies organized and very much in line with, "This is what I want, and this is what you should give me."

Dana Lorenze: But that being said, a responsible company that really is looking to lower their overall cost or improve their margins or stay ahead of their industry really needs to work with world-class providers, and not just one, obviously. Of course, we'd love if it were all just us, but knowing who those knowledgeable experts are and really working in a collaborative, long-term partnership is sometimes contrary to procurement cycles. So, my ask is that in the things that land on the C-suite shouldn't just be about the immediate problem that's causing me immediate pain. It should be, "How do we plan for the future to continue to grow as partners, and how do we understand what the risks are ahead of us, or the opportunities, more importantly, and work together as partners?" That's what I would advocate.

Chris Parker: Yeah, absolutely. Dana Lorenze, thank you so much for your time. I know that we're kind of coming close... the end here. If folks want to get in touch with you to talk more about this, to learn more, where can they find you?

Dana Lorenze: So my email address just

Chris Parker: Sure. Yeah, I'll have that in the notes.

Dana Lorenze: Yeah, all of our regional directors can help. We have a team of folks in our offices that can also field some questions, but they can always reach out to me, too, and I'm happy to engage in conversations.

Chris Parker: Absolutely. Well, again, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it. I learned a lot today, and I'm sure folks listening did as well.

Dana Lorenze: Well, thank you for the opportunity. I appreciate it, and it was nice talking to you.

Chris Parker: Thanks for listening to today's episode. If you've got any questions or want to learn more about today's topic, check out the show notes for more information. And before you go, make sure you're subscribed on whatever podcast app you're using so you won't miss the next episode. To learn more about Expeditors, you can find us on LinkedInFacebookInstagram, and Twitter, or simply visit us at Take care, and I'll see you next time.

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Blog was originally posted on September 22, 2021 10 AM

Topics: Customs


Written by Expeditors

26 minute read