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Technologies That Could Transform the World Trades

Dheeraj Budhori, An Internet Researcher, started his optimizer journey in 2019. His top executive is his passion for search engine analysis

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical need for customs and all supply chain stakeholders to digitize processes and use technology to improve communication and collaboration. TradeTech, or the collection of technologies and inventions that make trade more effective, inclusive, and equitable, is critical to harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution's innovations for the public good. However, the introduction of innovations in trade may have unintended implications that must be tackled in order to ensure TradeTech works for all businesses, regardless of scale, and all countries, regardless of level of growth. This study aims to shed light on the landscape of emerging trade technologies, including AI, IoT, and 3D printing, as well as the opportunities and challenges associated with each.

Use of Technologies in Trade

3D printing

3D printing sales were less than 0.1 percent of global manufacturing revenues in 2018, after rising at a 26.9 percent average annual rate over the previous 30 years. The adaptability of 3D printing has proved effective in addressing supply–demand imbalances and helped overcome supply chain shortages in the pandemic.. Personal protective equipment, medical and diagnostic equipment, personal accessories, visualization aids, and even emergency dwellings have seen an increase in 3D printing demand. Further 3D printing adoption may have an effect on trade volumes and the structure of value chains as some manufacturing moves directly to consumption markets. However, figures differ as to whether additional 3D printing would result in an increase or decrease in total trade volumes.

If 3D printing becomes more commonly available, three trends are likely to emerge:

  1. A change in physical exchange flows away from finished products and toward 3D printing input/raw materials like filaments (“ink”);
  2. A decline in intermediate product exchange if 3D printing becomes widely implemented and results in direct output of finished goods; and
  3. An increase in cross-border electronic transmissions.

Internet of Things

IoT depends on increasing sensor deployment to track large amounts of data in real time, such as temperature, humidity, and speed. Data can be used to make informed choices and to orchestrate predictive analysis. The global wireless data communication market is projected to hit $1867.8 million by 2023, up from $794.6 million in 2018.

IoT can help in the solution of three major trade issues:

  1. Asset tracking: IoT devices activated with cargo allow real-time geolocation from departure to final destination. IoT is also used to monitor inventory levels at the point of consumption in real time, allowing businesses to reduce stockouts and better schedule consumer replenishments. This sensor technology is used in both business-to-business (for example, tanks in chemical plants, shelf-scanning robots in supermarkets, specialist coffee machines in bakeries) and business-to-consumer (for example, detergent in washing machines, products in smart fridges) settings.
  2. Quality tracking: Supply chain managers receive a substantial benefit by monitoring the condition of perishable goods, including pharmaceutical cargo. Supply chain managers can be alerted to problems and reconcile them earlier rather than later by using IoT devices. Supply chain managers should use historical data to determine where problems appear to occur so that they can be avoided.
  3. Security monitoring: While IoT devices cannot prevent fraud or other anomalies from occurring, they may provide information about when and where they occur. If an asset is stolen, the location of the asset can be traced. Similarly, a government IoT application in customs clearance will improve protection and legal enforcement while assisting in the identification of priority cargo and high-risk shipments.

But Security risks, connectivity problems, and technological evolution are all challenges for IoT in trade.

Autonomous robotics

Autonomous robotics has the ability to transform logistics and work processes by improving modeling, prediction, optimization, dynamic planning, and autonomous execution, resulting in a more reliable, quick, and transparent supply chain framework for global trade enterprises. However, only 3% of container terminals are actually automated. Smart ports have opportunities to improve logistics, strengthen supply chains, and reduce pollution and waste. As the COVID-19 pandemic has made contactless trading the new standard, the use of autonomous robots and vehicles, including drones, for warehouse stock counting and goods distribution is gaining momentum. Warehouse drones have been shown to search pallets in less than 30 minutes with 99.7 percent accuracy, a process that would normally take 100 minutes. Amazon has over 200,000 warehouse robots in the United States and plans to build a $40 million robotics research hub in Westborough, Massachusetts.

Impact on labour and agile licensing procedures:

The growing use of autonomous technology would almost certainly have an effect on the labor market. Companies and governments are considering upskilling or reskilling current employees to handle the deployment of new technology while avoiding job displacement, from drone pilots to warehouse operators. By 2030, 14 percent of the global workforce – 375 million jobs – will be forced to change occupations due to job displacement induced by automation and developments in AI, according to 2018 projections.

Other figures suggest that new technology-related job growth will actually compensate for those who are displaced. Although robotics and AI are projected to replace 75 million jobs by 2022, projections indicate that 133 million new jobs will be developed.

Ultra-Fast mobile connectivity and trade

5g can make trade transactions smoother and easier with speech recognition, automatic interpretation and real time shipping updates. 5G, the next generation of wireless networks, is marked by large machine-type networking, increased mobile broadband, high reliability, and low latency. Peak download speeds of up to 20 gigabits per second are anticipated. The rollout of 5G will facilitate trade, especially in the services sector. The new 4G network supports access to internet services ranging from e-commerce to e-payment, videoconference, and online education. Figure 7 shows the significant increase in app use in the United States during the pandemic, with videoconferencing apps seeing the most development.


Blockchain can modernize customs procedures and certification, Along with intellectual property and supply chain traceability.

TradeTech Adoption

These revolutionary technologies are collectively known as TradeTech. TradeTech can make trade more efficient and equitable. However, the technologies need to be applied carefully, To ensure they work for all companies, regardless of their size and location, The World Economic Forum's global survey tried to describe how companies use technology in trade and to predict which developments will have the greatest effect on global trade in the future. The survey results are based on 340 responses from companies of various sizes and industries from around the world. Both respondents worked for businesses that are currently involved in international trade operations. According to the survey findings, the most transformative innovations are IoT, digital payment, e-commerce platforms, and cloud computing.


Tech Trade of World Economics Forum

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