CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
January 20, 2020
Forward Thinking

Survey finds trade, tariffs still top business concern

Small and mid-sized businesses are expanding their international reach to offset impact of China tariffs, DHL Express report shows.

More than half of small and medium-sized U.S. businesses are concerned about the effects of tariffs and are expanding their international audience to offset tariffs on imports from China, according to a report from shipping and logistics provider DHL Express.

DHL surveyed more than 8,500 small and mid-sized U.S. businesses, including its customers, to gauge perspectives on international trade trends, challenges, and opportunities. More than half said that tariff policies have affected their business and that expanding in Canada and Mexico is a top priority in the coming year. Key findings include:

  • A majority of respondents (56 percent) said the recent changes in tariff policies have had a moderate or significant effect on their business operating costs;
  • A majority (55 percent) said both Canada and Mexico are a top priority for their business this year, likely because of the USMCA, which will provide important benefits to U.S. exporters and importers upon its ratification;
  • Almost a third (30 percent) of respondents experienced 34 percent to 100 percent growth in international e-commerce sales between 2017 and 2018, and that growth is only expected to continue throughout 2019;
  • More than a third (34 percent) of respondents said they are focusing most this year on faster shipping options to drive sales.

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