Inside Global Trade, Compliance, and Logistics

Inside Global Trade, Compliance, and Logistics

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In this episode of the Auto Supply Chain Prophets Podcast, hosts Terry Onica and Jan Griffiths dive into the complexities of global trade, compliance, and logistics with their guest, Jeff Peterson, Director of Global Trade and Logistics at DRiV, a Tenneco company. 

Jeff digs into the challenges facing the trade compliance industry today. He highlights the ocean shipping container shortage, which has led to increased costs and delays. He also addresses other disruptions, such as port backups and global trade policies, which compound the complexities faced by professionals in the field. ​

According to Jeff, staying informed through reliable 3PLs and brokers and leveraging technology and software applications is crucial in dealing with these issues.

Jeff Peterson explains that they handle customs audits by focusing on security and compliance. They take a proactive "shift left" approach, doing necessary work upfront to avoid audits. Their comprehensive strategy helps mitigate risks to both business and national security.

Talking about the challenges at the US-Mexico border, Jeff explains that security is the main focus. They use the CTPAT and FAST programs to facilitate smoother border crossings, similar to a TSA pre-check for cargo. These security measures help ensure efficient movement across the border.

Jeff's passion for people development shines through as he discusses his strategies for talent growth. He believes in creating comprehensive programs that offer career paths, hands-on experiences, and continuous learning opportunities. 

When it comes to future-proofing the industry, Jeff advises Tier One and Tier Two leaders to focus on the people aspect of the business first, have an action plan, maintain pristine data, and be ready to pivot as necessary. He believes that while technology is vital, it's the dedication and expertise of individuals that truly drive success.

Themes discussed in this episode:

  • The ongoing ocean shipping container shortage, predicting higher costs and delays due to global disruptions
  • The need for staying updated through reliable 3PLs and brokers to manage unexpected global trade issues
  • The use of predictive logistics software to manage supply chain risks and ensure timely deliveries
  • Placing customs and compliance within the supply chain rather than in finance or legal departments for better integration
  • The importance of breaking down organizational silos to ensure smooth operations and proactive risk management
  • How trade wars and the COVID-19 pandemic have brought supply chain management into the public eye
  • Managing security and compliance at the US-Mexico border through programs like CTPAT and FAST
  • The role of technology and software in maintaining compliance and streamlining logistics processes

Featured on this episode: 

Name: Jeffrey Peterson

Title: Director, Global Trade and Logistics CI, DRiV Inc. – a Tenneco company.

About: Jeff Peterson is a seasoned professional specializing in global trade and logistics. Currently serving as Director of Global Trade and Logistics CI at Tenneco, Jeff has extensive experience managing various functions, including Client Management, Reconciliation, Restricted Party Screening, and Export Operations, during his tenure at Livingston International. He has also led the Graduate Rotation and Development Program, aimed at cultivating entry-level talent for accelerated career growth. Jeff's expertise spans emergency management, cross-border improvement projects, and implementing supply chain processes to meet regulatory requirements. His leadership and contributions are instrumental in driving operational excellence and client satisfaction in international trade environments.

Connect: LinkedIn

Mentioned in this episode:

Episode Highlights:

[04:48] Global Container Shortage: Regarding current customs and trade challenges, Jeff highlights the shortage of ocean shipping containers. With high demand and low capacity, he anticipates escalating costs and delays globally.

[06:12] Staying Ahead of Global Events: Jeff shares how to stay on top of the issues they currently face in global trade, compliance, and logistics. He explains the importance of utilizing information from trusted partners and the use of technology.

[09:46] Always Shift Left: Terry explores the risks of customs audits with Jeff, who advocates for proactive measures. Jeff stresses the importance of "shifting left" or doing necessary work upfront to avoid audits.

[15:02] The US-Mexico Border: Outlining the challenges at the US-Mexico border, Jeff talks about their focus on security and their use of programs to expedite cross-border movements. 

[19:05] People and Talent Development: Discussing his commitment to talent development, Jeff believes in structured programs and wide-ranging experiences to cultivate skills and perspectives essential for success in customs and trade.

[23:19] Advice for Supply Chain Leaders: Jeff advises leaders to focus on the people aspect of the business first, have an action plan, maintain pristine data, and be ready to pivot as necessary.

Top Quotes:

[04:54] Jeff: “I think the biggest thing that I'm dealing with right now, and I think it's unfortunately going to get worse, it's the ocean shipping container shortage. We're facing high demands and low capacity, and that's starting to come down the pipeline right now. So, it's not necessarily a trade compliance issue. It's a global trade impact, and it's going to get progressively worse. So, if you're talking about one thing that I'm dealing with right now, that's it. We're going to expect higher container costs. We're going to expect delays at the moment.”

[07:47] Jeff: “There's a lot of software opportunities out there that you can rely on, so you could put your supply chain in a software application that'll analyze risk for you. So, we rely heavily on that. That's beyond basic restricted party screening, where you're actually looking at your suppliers for a risk base, or you're actually looking at your supply chain environment. So, we have labor disputes, you have natural disasters, you have things like that, and they can actually put your supply chain into software and detect where risks might be to kind of put you into that challenge at hand. So, that would be probably one of the other areas that I would concentrate on.”

[10:30] Jeff: “With audits and risks, always shift left. So, that means you're doing the work upfront. You're doing the work while it's happening, not in an audit. So, we don't wait for audits. We don't want to prepare for an audit. We want to avoid an audit. And by doing so, it's developing that risk analysis, doing our own internal audit. So, if a governing agency came to you and presented you, we can say, 'Okay, here's our audit results. We've done most of the work for you. Show us where you think we've done right or where you think there's holes in it, and if you ask us to validate it, we have a proper audit trail to do it.'”

[12:31] Jeff: “I think in the supply chain, you have that visibility, that end-to-end on the inbound from the suppliers, on the outbound to the customers, and everything in between. That connection with purchasing, corrective actions on suppliers that are challenged, and getting data on the back end in countries that have indirect tax implications: Europe and Mexico. A lot of times, you'll see more of an argument to go that direction, but generally, that's what I would say is the rub. I would always go with the supply chain. I like it better in the supply chain.”

[23:41] Jeff: “Obviously, technology is the answer to that. But I want to take a step back, not to forget the people element of it. I mean, it takes people to operate. It takes people to be committed to it. So, I really feel that the real answer is people, but outside of people, it's technology.”

[25:04] Jeff: “The other piece is data. One thing everybody wants to say: I want to commit to a software provider, and I'm going to revolutionize my business. Well, generally, you're not going to do that if you don't have good data. So, at the ERP level, at the material master level, at the supplier and customer level, all your master data, you need to make sure that it's clean and it's proper, or else anything that you're looking to gain out of a system isn't going to happen. So, that's where I would focus. Make sure that the fundamentals are there.”


Delivering on the Promise of Delivery: Automotive Sustainability and Profitability

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The 24 Essential Supply Chain

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Keep in touch with Auto Supply Chain Prophet's co-hosts Terry Onica and Jan Griffiths on LinkedIn.


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