Tricky Trading: Global Trade
Ever since the first ports came into existence, it was only a matter of time before global trade became the natural way of things. After all, it makes sense that one country would be more than willing to trade a good to another country that doesn’t have that item in exchange for something the first country doesn’t have. Chocolate, silk and salt all began this way. Though many countries can produce their own versions of such products, there are still many more consumables on the market that just can’t be duplicated, leading to a continued high demand for global trade. Unfortunately, it seems today’s current laws and boundaries have only made such trade harder than ever before.
Each country has pride in itself, its culture and its people, leaving very little room for foreign encroachment. Unfortunately, this is what complicates a large chunk of our ability to freely trade with one another. Language and cultural barriers alone make a truly global market seem all but a dream to be carried out five generations from now. Though many traders are well versed in the cultures they deal with on a regular basis, this still does not make up for things that can’t be changed, like currency.
Ever fluctuating and confusing, different country currencies employ a certain amount of risk that both helps stable countries and damages those that are trying to grow. Powerhouses, like Britain, France and America, all have a currency that changes very little and has a very low risk of wildly fluctuating in the future. Smaller countries or those embroiled in conflict, however, are subject to extreme changes, making them poor partners when trying to instigate trade. Unless that currency remains steady, there is a large chance your trade could be worthless by the time your product hits foreign soil. Even so, trade is an essential way by which younger countries grow their wealth, but if they aren’t stable, trade comes at a questionable rate.
The Law of the Land
Finally, we get to the rules and regulations governing each city, state, province, territory and country. No two are exactly alike, leaving one port of call in a very different trading position than another along a different coast. Just imagine how often American laws change. Now apply that to every other country and you’ll get only the merest glimmer of how complex dealing with these are. Incorrectly handled goods result in fines and fees that eat away at what are already marginal profits. The problem is so severe that an entire branch of technology has sprung up as a way to deal with adhering to each law correctly. Companies have poured millions into both developing desktop shipping software and a team of lawyers that work round the clock to keep these programs updated. This means that when you purchase one, you are also paying for a team to keep you legal and to verify your paperwork is done correctly.
Already companies are evolving in such a way that follows a global set of standards that all can agree to. It is a means by which countries can still retain their proud heritage while still comfortably fitting into the parameters of what makes a globally friendly country. If this continues to progress as it is currently, we can eventually expect to see a federation of countries not too different from the future Star Trek envisioned. In this world, paperwork will still be necessary, but the risks will be far lower as all products will be held to the same regulation standards and the laws that govern trade will be universal.
Until that bright, beautiful tomorrow arrives, we’re still going to need to continued support of desktop shipping software to aid in obeying rules coupled with cultural respect toward all countries we do business with. Only by following this model of understanding can we hope to truly achieve a unified world.