In the world of digital technology, exporters prefer to conduct most of their activities online. It involves everything, from preparing various export documents to booking freight and managing the entire supply chain. Consequently, they enjoy numerous advantages like improved efficiency to reduced penalties and better compliance with international trade norms. Likewise, various government bodies have been abolishing the traditional practices and procedures to replace them with electronic ones.
For instance, every exporter needed to contact cargo terminal operators manually in order to obtain cargo acceptance. For this, they would fill the form called Export Receival Advice (ERA) and submit the same manually. It was a tedious task as it consumed a lot of time and had coordination issues. It was in the year 2004 that pre-receival advice (ERA) replaced ERA to address a lot of issues.
So, what is pre-receival advice or PRA? In simple words, it is a message from an exporter (or his or her agent) to stevedore, informing the latter about the cargo which is ready for dispatch to the cargo terminal. In response to this message, the stevedore grants cargo acceptance. It is only after the successful cargo acceptance message that the exporter sends the consignment to the terminal.
Now, there are many questions one may ask:
- First, why ERA proved to be an inefficient way to achieve cargo acceptance?
- Second, how PRA achieves the required efficiency?
- Third, how does this switch affect the overall trade supply chain?
- Most importantly, how ERA would have been a misfit in today’s world?
Let’s understand answers to these questions through the following points that are absolutely valid.
Manual Errors Are Unacceptable
Needless to say, no exporter can afford human errors in this era of extreme competition. To clarify, let’s take an example of including a wrong Customs Authority Number (CAN) in the information form submitted to a cargo terminal operator. Obviously, this leads to rejection of the form which further requires re-submission of the form. As a result, a lot of valuable time gets wasted which may result in shipping delays.
On the other hand, using a software to prepare and submit a PRA automates the entire process. It means that human participation is less and so are the chances of human errors.
Decentralised Data Reduces Productivity
Imagine how cumbersome it would be to refer to different paper files and scattered sources of information to prepare an ERA. You can expect many issues like misinformation, data inconsistency, loss of time and a huge amount of labour. As compared to this, preparing a PRA electronically using a centrally-controlled system can make the task much easier.
Moreover, existence of cloud data storage and processing systems, data centralisation has indeed become a boon. It is unbelievably faster and a convenient way to access data from any place, at any time and using any device. Hence, manual ERA submission is completely inappropriate in this scenario.
No Scope for Extra Time and Costs
The export businesses have always been worried about their bottom lines. However, communicating with terminal operators using ERA always led to wastage of time as well as money in many ways. On the other hand, submitting PRA using a suitable electronic system can help you in:
- Simultaneously sending the PRAs in bulk for all the containers in a consignment
- Communicating with different cargo terminals across Australia
- Responding quickly to any queries from the stevedores
- Fast-tracking to remain up-to-date about the PRA status
- Eliminating errors and mistakes and thereby, avoiding the possible penalties
Unsynchronised Export Documentation Can Bring in Inefficiency
Finally, you need to think about the complete process of export documentation and not just the manually-done ERA. Investing in one platform or system to maintain sync in preparing, sharing and storing various export documents can dramatically reduce the possibilities of any loophole.
For example, an exporter needs to share information included in a PRA with the shipping company as well. The terminal operator compares the information he or she receives from the exporter with that he or she receives from the shipping line. Due to this, it is essential that all details match accurately and it is possible only through synchronised documentation.
To conclude, PRA replaces ERA at the right time to meet the modern day trade requirements. Make sure that you make the best out of this transition using the best technology and tools.
Choose among Various Apps in the Suite
Your export documentation needs depend on the nature of your export business, the countries you export to and the types of commodities you deal in. ImpexDocs is available as a software suite consisting of apps that can be used as standalone tools to prepare different documents.
For example, you may choose ImpexRFP if you export commodities like grains, meat, dairy products and so on. Going further, you can add ImpexCOO to the list if you need to prepare certificates of origin to gain Free Trade Agreement benefits. In addition, there are options like ImpexEDN to apply for export declaration number and ImpexPRA for easy pre-receival advice communication.
Go for a Variety of ImpexDocs Services
Many exporters need more than a document control system software. While some may need export consulting for trade supply chain, others may look for freight bill audit services. ImpexDocs, as a service provider, extends its services beyond its software suite and offers a variety of services:
- First, you can choose their managed services to avoid complexities at various stages from packing to final documentation.
- Second, you may hire commodity-specific services like management of meat export or agriculture-based products.
- Next, you can make things simple by assigning tasks like freight rate management and ocean freight brokerage.
- Also, there are services like logistics outsourcing and inspection, testing and certifications and so on
A Solution for Any Business Size
Trade operations and processes may prove to be complex for even small exporters. As a comprehensive document management system, ImpexDocs fits the bill for all exports, small and medium as well as starters. Moreover, it makes the task easier for people on different positions and playing critical roles in their organizations. For instance, ImpexDocs is a boon for:
- CEOs, who struggle to focus on their core business activities while managing trade supply chain hiccups
- CFOs, who are always concerned about managing the costs and expenses while keeping the profits growing
- Export supply chain executives, who need to supervise the entire supply chain with inexcusable efficacy
Ideal for Every Industry
Whether you export meat or dairy products or have an export business that ships horticulture products, ImpexDocs adapts to your requirements aptly. The document generation software takes care of everything from carrying out bookings to communicating with different parties like packers, warehouses, stevedores and more. In short, it serves every industry needs to ensure no delays and smooth processing.
Besides, what’s best about ImpexDocs is that it helps exporters to meet the specific compliance requirements of their respective industries. It means dramatically-reduced chances of penalties and non-compliance issues. You can expect to meet the importing country’s requirements precisely by relying on the cloud-based solution.
In short, you need to be careful in choosing what can be called a document control system software for a fully-organized documentation process. Only then, you can extract the best out of mobile devices you invest in for improving your overall business performance.