Better Data Battles Counterfeit Products in Logistics

by Max Manikian, on February 28, 2018

How do companies keep counterfeit goods out of the supply chain?
How do companies keep counterfeit goods out of the supply chain?

Shipping and logistics companies moving products around the world have to contend with the possibility of counterfeit goods sneaking into the supply chain. The continued presence of these components and products benefits no one except the counterfeiter and damages all other parties. As markets stretch around the world, tracking items and making sure the supply chain stays uncontaminated can be hugely challenging. With the aid of great data access, however, logistics providers can improve detection.

Dealing with the Pace of Commerce
DC Velocity reported that at the November Northeast Cargo Symposium, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan expressed concerns about the rising rates of e-commerce shipments. While goods flowing between countries is an encouraging economic sign, checking through all those shipments raises challenges for inspectors - including an increased risk that counterfeit items will slip through.

McAleenan added that counterfeit goods are part of the "dark side" of the e-commerce phenomenon, alongside other types of contraband. An increase in the amount of available data companies and authorities have access to is an essential building block in any strategy, as it will allow governments and legitimate businesses to make headway against fake items.

Containers can be Compromised
The International Chamber of Commerce noted that counterfeit products infiltrating the ocean shipping supply chain was a major topic at the World Congress of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations. With fewer than 2 percent of containers examined, criminals have been able to move large quantities of forged goods. Tightening inspections will be a difficult but necessary step in cutting the amount of counterfeit goods moved.

Labeling Can Help
Enterprise labeling systems that support serialized labeling and enable quick and easy data interchange will have an opportunity to help enterprises and regulators in their fight against counterfeit goods in the years ahead. Vague systems in which data is not tracked centrally and efficiently are comparatively easy for criminals to compromise, meaning that improving labeling is a valuable countermeasure.

For more on the benefits of Enterprise Labeling check out our report on that topic.

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Topics:CounterfeitingSupply ChainTransportation & LogisticsLogistics