2003-05 ODS: The Internet as an Information and Service-Delivery Tool in Canada's Customs Brokerage Industry (Working Paper Abstract)
published: 2003 | Research publication | Working Paper - ODS
ABSTRACT: Canada's customs brokers face a challenging set of factors that include ongoing customs reforms by the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA), intense competition from both incumbents and newcomers, and demands for services that are both all-inclusive (i.e., provide "end-to-end" global logistics support) and information technology intensive. This raises questions about how Canada's customs brokerage industry has responded to these imperatives. Generally, customs brokers know that web sites are important for informing (potential) clients of their services and for enabling performance of some services. Based on this premise, the web sites of 47 brokers that are members of the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers (CSCB) were explored in order to ascertain the industry's response to the challenges. This detailed web-based research focused on three issues: (a) clarity of information about the brokers' services, (b) comprehensiveness of service offerings, and (c) usage of information/communication technology (ICT) in service delivery. From analysis of the research data, the study highlights the industry's apparent strong and weak points as well as metrics that appear to separate top performing brokers from others. One of the study's key findings is that Internet/ICT use for innovative services such as supply chain management and reverse logistics is significantly less prevalent than for standard brokerage services such as preparing import/export documents. Another key finding is that the service packages for non-standard services are also considerably less comprehensive. The paper discusses both the practical and future research implications of the findings.
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revised Dec 9/04
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