Global trade reached an all-time high in the third quarter of 2021, hitting $5.6 trillion.
This is a positive sign for a beleaguered industry. It seems like there is story after story about supply chain issues, shipping problems, and problems with international trade.
That was true for some industries in 2021, but you’re probably wondering what 2022 holds for international trade.
Fortunately, you’re in the right place to find out. Keep reading to see what the future holds for international trade in 2022.
1. Uncertainty Rules
If there’s one word to define international trade in 2022, it’s uncertainty. It’s uncertain what happens if another coronavirus variant appears.
It’s uncertain if worker shortages will get fixed. It’s uncertain what consumer demand will look like this year.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine could impact international trade. Ukraine is a large supplier of wheat and grain to Asia and Africa. Food security issues could arise if these countries go to war.
The only certainty is that you have to be ready for anything. You’ll have to remain flexible and prepare to make snap decisions that impact the supply chain.
2. Semiconductor Shortages Continue
Why is there such a problem getting semiconductors these days? It started at the beginning of the pandemic.
At the beginning of the pandemic, car sales sank. Car manufacturers didn’t want to get stuck with a glut of inventory, so they cut manufacturing orders.
Manufacturers adapted by manufacturing chips for small consumer electronics products. Consumers were buying these products because they were working from home.
They needed new laptops, monitors, and other electronics.
Demand for cars returned sooner than expected, which left chip and car manufacturers behind the times. New cars are still in demand, but the supply will still be behind in 2022.
Manufacturers say it’s an improving situation but won’t get fully resolved until 2023.
3. Changing Customs Regulations
International businesses are keenly aware of the impact that Brexit is having on international trade. New customs regulations between the UK and European Union began on January 1, 2022.
Expect to see more changes as governments try to open up supply chains and adapt to changing circumstances.
The best thing you can do for your shipments is to use a freight transport services provider that knows various customs regulations.
You don’t want your shipment to get held up for months because of paperwork issues.
DHL, SobelNet, and DMV are examples of international freight forwarders.
What’s Next for International Trade
What does the future hold for international trade? The answer seems to change every day. It’s best if you prepare your business for every possibility.
Uncertainty will rule supply chains for at least another year. Semiconductors for new cars will remain an issue, and customs regulations will change.
The ones that survive this situation are the ones that get creative and adapt quickly.
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