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Risk and compliance experts GWCI has set its sights on helping freight forwarders reduce the danger of businesses entering into unfamiliar markets in their attempts to tackle serious Coronavirus-induced supply shortages.

As Covid-19’s world tour continues to halt supply chains across the globe, businesses are being left with extreme stock deficiencies, as countries throughout the world put themselves under nationwide lockdowns to tackle the pandemic. 

As much of the globe adjusts to draconian measures implemented by their respective governments, the world’s manufacturing sector has entered a sustained period of hibernation – leaving companies left to grapple with crippling supply shortages that puts their very existence at risk. 

With both labour and capacity currently at an all-time low, supply chains have in some countries been brought to a grinding halt, forcing panicked businesses to seek alternative markets in the attempt to keep their doors open.

However, GWCI have warned that as countries continue to shut their borders and implement stricter measures in order to contain the virus, businesses may be inclined to visit unfamiliar foreign markets to source stock without the appropriate due diligence first in place – and potentially leave themselves exposed to fraudulent or unethical companies who may look to take advantage of those in desperate need in such uncertain times.

Graham Welland, CEO of GWCI has suggested that as freight forwarders often finding themselves on the front line of international trade, GWCI is keen to lend a helping hand to complement their work by helping to provide total transparency of any new country or organisation that their customer is looking to trade into or with.

Graham commented: “In light of the recent Coronavirus pandemic, we predict a trend may arise where, as supply shortages continue to blight industries across the globe, businesses may find themselves in a situation where they feel forced to branch into uncharted waters in the attempt to source stock by trading with an unfamiliar organisation without ensuring the appropriate checks are first in place. 

“Whilst forwarders may have the network to safeguard customers against a variety of issues that can range from facing unfamiliar or higher fees at customs, to outdated policies and procedures, further expertise may be required to ascertain who it is exactly that the customer will be conducting business with.

“For instance, our detailed Reputational Damage Reports can inform businesses on exactly who they are trading with and the associated risks – protecting them against any reputational and financial damages that could materialise if they are found to be trading with enterprises or individuals who have unethical links. 

“This can range from carrying out ethical screening, consideration of the dark web, previous history of issues with bribery and corruption, company background and a screening process of the individuals involving within that company.

“Sometimes in particular cases further transparency is needed as in our experience it is not uncommon for foreign organisations to have parent companies that could be linked to dubious activities which we have found to be as extreme as organised crime or even terrorism on the rare occasion. 

“As such, we urge forwarders to get in touch to safeguard the long term reputational and financial position of their clients by incorporating our combined 60-year expertise of providing risk mitigation intelligence and advice into their processes to ensure their clientele are not being exposed to further foreseen damages or being exploited in such uncertain times.”