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Hurricane’s Zephyr Bulk Upload solution goes live on Royal Mail website

Royal Mail’s online retailer customers can now access Hurricane’s innovative Zephyr Bulk Upload Portal to enhance their data.

The portal is simple to use allowing merchants to upload their product list file and receive back in lightning quick time accurate HS6 codes and 10-digit import and export codes as required.

The solution has been developed by Hurricane to meet the growing compliance pressures facing online retailers and marketplaces.

Regulatory challenges so far this year have included Brexit and the US STOP Act.

The introduction of the EU VAT Package on July 1 – including the launch of the Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) – means that complete and valid product shipment data has never been more essential.

Using the Zephyr portal means:

  • Ensuring your products have complete and accurate data;
  • A cost-effective solution to process thousands of lines of product data;
  • Peace of mind on every cross-border eCommerce shipment;
  • High levels of customer experience.

Martyn Noble, CEO of Hurricane Commerce, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Royal Mail to provide their retailer customers with our best-in-class bulk upload data enhancement service.”

Royal Mail’s website states: “Zephyr enables established and newer e-retailers to capitalise on the huge opportunities for successful international eCommerce, while also staying compliant.

“It’s currently the only data enhancing solution of its kind available to e-retailers – designed to provide peace of mind for sellers and keep customers happy too – by ensuring they receive their goods without unnecessary delay.”

Hurricane Commerce selected as partner for ETrak delivery management system

Hurricane Commerce has been chosen as the landed cost engine partner for ETrak, the delivery management system powered by Parcel Monkey in partnership with The Delivery Group.

ETrak provides cost-effective, tracked delivery solutions for sending packets and parcels worldwide, enabling eCommerce merchants to scale while keeping costs to a minimum.

The recently launched platform has access to a global network of postal and commercial carriers in over 220 countries.

By partnering with Hurricane Commerce, ETrak is able to provide its retailer customers with a Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) solution.

ETrak has integrated Hurricane’s Aura API which allows merchants to calculate duties and taxes on shipments via a landed cost engine. Aura can also screen for prohibited and restricted goods and denied parties.

Providing a DDP solution is becoming increasingly important as retailers, marketplaces, postal operators and carriers face multiple regulatory challenges including Brexit, the Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) and the US STOP Act.

The ETrak landed cost engine enables retailers to be fully transparent with consumers at checkout about duties and taxes that are payable – avoiding any doorstep surprises.

Martyn Noble, CEO of Hurricane Commerce, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as the landed cost engine partner for the ETrak delivery management system.

“Parcel Monkey in partnership with The Delivery Group are committed to providing their customers with the best possible experience which, in turn, will enable their customers to achieve substantial growth in their cross-border eCommerce trade.

“The fast-moving regulatory landscape is providing retailers, marketplaces and carriers with significant challenges, but the international growth opportunities are vast for those who put in place the best possible processes and systems.

“Pivotal to this is the need to ensure that packets and parcels have complete and valid electronic data and that online retailers are able to be transparent with their customers about the duties and taxes that are payable.”

Chris Tayler, Head of ETrak, said: “Our mission at ETrak is to provide simplified international parcel delivery solutions for eCommerce businesses and being able to offer a DDP solution to our customers is essential to this mission.

DDP delivery gives retailers greater flexibility for handling customs duties and taxes and provides a better shopping experience for the end customer, therefore improving customer loyalty and retention.

We selected Hurricane Commerce as our partner because their Aura solution provides a best-in-class landed cost engine to calculate duties and taxes, enabling us to accurately calculate the customs fees on any shipment, regardless of the importing country.”

 

Hurricane in the media:

Post and Parcel Technology International – ETrak partners with Hurricane Commerce to deliver Parcel Monkey solution

CEP Research – ETrak selects Hurricane Commerce solution

Tamebay – ETrak select Hurricane Commerce to power Delivered Duty Paid solution

Apex Insight – ETrak to use Hurricane Commerce for DDP solution

The path to successful cross-border eCommerce – How Hurricane’s solutions can help you successfully trade cross-border.

Cross-border eCommerce can provide any business with the opportunity to expand and open their business up to more markets and customers. Whilst this sounds like a fantastic proposition, there are many issues to contend with when first starting out.

There has recently been a large increase in the amount of regulations and compliance rules that are being introduced and monitored, which are often missed by smaller businesses who may not have any previous experience with customs.

There is a sharp focus on knowing what you are sending, and who you are sending it to.

Unknowingly sending an item into a country that requires a licence or sending goods to a blacklisted customer will end up with a business facing fines, and goods being destroyed.

Hurricane has developed 3 main solutions to help businesses stay compliant, and successfully expand their business into cross-border eCommerce.

They are Import Duty and Tax calculations, Prohibited and Restricted Goods Screening and Denied Party Screening. Below we show what these solutions do, and how they can help your business navigate cross-border eCommerce.

Duty and Tax

Every product has a duty and tax rate applied by individual customs upon importation. Individual countries also have their own deminimis levels, which are the values under which products do not have any duty or taxes applied to them.

It can therefore be difficult to calculate the duty and tax rates applicable in checkout. Hurricane’s duty and tax calculator allows businesses to show their customers the total cost of any purchase, drastically reducing negative customer experiences and customer churn.

Prohibited and Restricted Goods

Each country’s customs have their own rules on what can and can’t be imported, and whether special licences or permissions are required. Having carried out deep analysis of restrictions and requirements for importing, exporting and transporting goods in 154 countries, covering 97% of global GDP, Hurricane provides feedback on prohibited and restricted codes. Hurricane’s screening prevents goods from being wrongly transported or imported, ensuring there are no compliance slip ups.

Denied Party Screening

Denied Party Screening is becoming crucial for any business trading cross-border as punishments become more severe. Hurricane’s screening allows businesses to see if their customers and partners are on any of the global denied parties lists, allowing you to control who you sell your products to.

Compliance is key

Transparency is key to providing a positive customer experience. It is incredibly cost-effective and affordable compared to fines that can be given due to non-compliance.

Hurricane can also be a key selling point for your customers, as they will know that all costs will be paid upfront and transit times will be reduced.

Contact us to find out how Hurricane can help your business navigate the uncertainties of cross-border eCommerce.

The path to successful cross-border eCommerce – What’s the opportunity and how can you get a piece of it?

Cross-border eCommerce is becoming more accessible to businesses, ranging from small scale independent stores to multinational giants.

Facilitating this surge in cross-border eCommerce are platforms like Magento® an Adobe company, which accounts for 16% of all eCommerce websites. They include some big names like Coca-Cola and Christian Louboutin.

Platforms like this offer a huge opportunity for a business to create a site and get trading quickly, especially with a host of extensions that allow businesses to manage their stock, create labels and provide a better customer experience. Magento alone has over 250,000 sites and saw an increase of 7,500 in 2019, covering a total of $155 billion in total merchant sales.

Risk and reward

With 57% of all online shoppers buying cross-border, the prize associated with using an eCommerce platform is large. This does however also expose your business to the risks associated with cross-border eCommerce, such as parcels being seized by customs due to poor data, or customers being charged extra upon delivery due to import duties and taxes not being paid.

These situations can lead to a negative customer experience which can result in customers making a one-time purchase then shopping elsewhere. With businesses able to earn 50% more revenue if 40% of their customers are returning, it is important to understand the issues surrounding cross-border eCommerce and ensure your business is prepared.

The Hurricane solution

Hurricane has developed a suite of solutions that allows businesses to show their customers the total cost of any purchase inclusive of shipping, import fees and any extra costs, as well as screening for denied parties and prohibited and restricted goods to ensure total compliance.

Hurricane has become a Technology Partner with Magento, one of the leading eCommerce platforms and will give their customer base the cost-effective and user-friendly tools needed to successfully trade cross-border and reduce the risk of fines and negative customer experiences.

With customer experience becoming the main differentiator between brands, surpassing pricing and the products, providing a positive experience is crucial.

Hurricane’s cross-border solutions will provide businesses with an engine for growth by improving the customer experience from the first site visit, all the way to the delivery, thus increasing the likelihood of them making repeat purchases, and making businesses fully compliant with customs and import regulations.

Prime Vision teams up with Hurricane Commerce to provide complete cross-border data solution

Prime Vision is partnering with Hurricane Commerce to provide customers with a complete end-to-end data enhancement service on cross-border eCommerce parcels and packets.

New regulations and laws are providing huge challenges to any business involved in international eCommerce.

And the biggest requirement is for quality data on parcels including complete and valid product descriptions and HS6 codes.

The partnership between Prime Vision and Hurricane will see the integration of their respective technologies, providing customers with a high-quality service that meets the growing requirements of customs authorities for enhanced data.

Prime Vision is a market leader in Computer Vision Integration in the global logistics sector for postal, parcel, eCommerce and airports.

The company’s solutions include sorting decision systems, OCR, barcode reading, video-coding and robotics.

Hurricane’s technology includes its Zephyr data enhancement tool and its Aura solution which covers the three critical cross-border areas of duty and tax calculation, prohibited and restricted goods screening and denied parties screening.

David Spottiswood, Co-founder of Hurricane, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Prime Vision and to be able to make our data enhancement software available to its customers.

“The regulatory landscape for anyone involved in cross-border eCommerce trade is changing dramatically.

“This started with Brexit in January, but since March 15, postal operators and their customers have also had to deal with the enforcement of the US STOP Act and the EU’s ICS2. Further major change comes in July with the introduction of the EU’s VAT reforms.

“All of these changes have one common denominator – the need for data of the highest calibre including accurate product descriptions, HS6 codes and country of origin.

Dirk Van Lammeren, Prime Vision’s Commercial Director, said: “We are excited to have teamed up with Hurricane Commerce to offer customers end-to-end data enhancement solutions.

“Postal operators, carriers and retailers are having to adapt quickly to the changing regulations to ensure they are compliant.

“Hurricane’s and Prime Vision’s solutions reinforce each other and together we will enable our customers to achieve frictionless cross-border eCommerce.”

 

Hurricane in the media:

Post & Parcel – Prime Vision and Hurricane Commerce team up to meet the demand for high calibre data

Air Cargo Week – Hurricane Commerce teams up with Prime Vision

Tamebay – Complete cross-border data solution from Prime Vision & Hurricane Commerce

Parcel and Postal Technology International – Prime Vision partners with Hurricane Commerce to provide complete cross-border data solution

Apex Insight – Prime Vision and Hurricane Commerce in partnership

CEP Research – Prime Vision integrates Hurricane Commerce cross-border data solutions

Lenton Group selects Hurricane Commerce’s Duty and Tax calculator for global shipments

Lenton Group, the global logistics and transport provider, has announced a partnership with Hurricane Commerce.

Lenton Group has selected Hurricane’s Duty and Tax calculator to support the launch of its Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) solution and its commitment to a seamless cross-border trade experience for its eCommerce customers.

The Duty and Tax calculator is available through Lenton Group’s Hub-Ez, a one-stop logistics platform for online sellers, marketplaces and others involved in cross-border eCommerce.

Establishing the partnership with Hong Kong-headquartered Lenton Group will form an integral part of Hurricane’s expansion into Asia Pacific.

The company was founded in 2016 to provide postal operators, carriers, merchants, marketplaces and platforms with a suite of solutions to enable clients to achieve frictionless eCommerce trade in the face of ever-increasing global regulation.

Hurricane’s industry-leading APIs cover data enhancement, duty and tax calculation, prohibited and restricted goods screening and denied parties screening.

Lenton Group’s Alex Langslow said: “We are pleased to announce our new partnership with Hurricane Commerce, allowing all our customers access to a leading platform for calculating duties and taxes for international shipments around the world.

“The Duty and Tax calculator is available on our online portal, Hub-Ez, and will be integrated into many of our upcoming products.

“eCommerce is a fast-growing and rapidly evolving part of the Lenton Group business and partnering with best-in-class technology companies like Hurricane is an important part of our strategy.”

Martyn Noble, CEO of Hurricane Commerce, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the Lenton Group and for our solutions to be playing a critical role in ensuring the seamless cross-border trade of their customers’ international shipments.

“Major events like Brexit, the US STOP Act, ICS2 and EU VAT reforms mean that complete and accurate data on eCommerce parcels has never been more important than it is today.

“Hurricane’s leading-edge technology solutions have been specifically designed to simplify the complex and ensure frictionless cross-border trade.”

 

For more information on the Lenton Group’s services, click the image below:

 

 

 

 

 

Hurricane in the media:

Tamebay – Lenton Group announces partnership with Hurricane Commerce

Post and Parcel – Lenton Group and Hurricane sign a cross-border e-commerce partnership

Parcel and Postal Technology International – Lenton Group selects Hurricane Commerce’s Duty and Tax calculator for global shipments

Multi Channel Merchant – Lenton Group Selects Hurricane Commerce’s Duty and Tax Calculator for Global Shipments

Apex Insight – Lenton Group to use Hurricane Commerce duty and tax calculator

Air Cargo Week – Lenton Group partners with Hurricane Commerce

Hurricane and ELI launch new China website

Hurricane Commerce and our Chinese partner ELI Holdings have launched a new dedicated Chinese website to enable Chinese businesses to learn more about our suite of APIs.

Hurricane has teamed up with ELI to provide Chinese eCommerce and logistics companies with the tools and technology to enable them to trade cross-border successfully and seamlessly amid tough global regulatory requirements.

Among these regulations is the US Stop Act which requires all mail parcels to have complete and valid advanced electronic data (AED) to pass through US customs.

The UK and EU are also removing the exemption from VAT on eCommerce packets containing low value items while, in March 2021, the implementation of ICS2 will require postal operators to provide entry summary declarations before parcels can pass into or through the EU.

The demand for services that allow businesses to continue trading cross-border is soaring, with the need for compliance screenings, cost transparency and accurate and complete customs declarations. The need for accurate data is becomingly increasingly important and is becoming key in providing a positive customer experience by reducing transit times and the risk of unexpected fees upon delivery.

Nothing moves without the right data and increasing global regulation is providing huge challenges to those involved in cross-border eCommerce trade.

Hurricane is the preferred data partner for postal operators, online retailers, eCommerce platforms and carriers.

Contact us to find out more about our suite of APIs and how they can benefit your business.

The dedicated Chinese site can be round at this address – http://www.hurricanecommerce.cn/

Postal operators face “double whammy” of STOP Act and ICS2 on March 15

Postal operators face a “hugely challenging” eight weeks after being told that full enforcement of the US STOP Act will now take effect on the same day as the EU’s ICS2.

Both regulations require postal authorities to provide advance electronic data on mail parcels entering the US and EU respectively.

The US STOP Act had been due to come into full force on January 1, but Senator Rob Portman reluctantly granted an extension to March 15 after hearing that Customs and Border Protection needed more time to finalise regulations.

However, Senator Portman made it clear that no further delays would be acceptable, saying: “Congress cannot provide this type of extension on packages without identifying data entering the United States again.”

He also highlighted how other countries including France, Spain and Germany have started to require identifying data ahead of the implementation of ICS2 on March 15.

Portman said: “Packages entering those countries without identifying data will be delayed or considered inadmissible and returned to sender.  Further, starting

March 15, the European Union will require identifying data on a package before it is loaded onto a plane for shipment.”

Hurricane Commerce, a cross-border

eCommerce technology specialist, warned before Christmas that the STOP Act enforcement would result in several hundred million mail parcels destined for the US being rejected if they have incorrect or incomplete data. Refused parcels would be returned to their country of origin triggering extra costs for returns, warehousing and storage as well as huge customer dissatisfaction.

Martyn Noble, CEO of Hurricane Commerce, said: “On the one hand, Senator Portman’s extension to March 15 gives postal operators a little more time to get prepared.

“But with the full enforcement of the STOP Act now coinciding with the implementation of the EU’s ICS2 on the same day – March 15 – it is a real double whammy and presents posts with a hugely challenging eight weeks to ensure they are able to meet the higher threshold of advance electronic data.

“There is now the very real prospect of hundreds of millions of parcels being rejected into the US and EU from March 15.

“Those postal authorities which are fully prepared for the greater requirements around AED will not only be compliant but will also put themselves in the driving seat to capitalise on the continuing exponential growth in cross-border eCommerce trade.”

Martyn added: “This is not just about the postal authorities as the data starts with companies that are selling their goods internationally on their own websites or via marketplaces. Data needs to be complete and correct at the point of sale to ensure that the end customer receives the service they expect.”

Hurricane has developed a suite of APIs that meet the needs of postal operators, carriers, eCommerce merchants, marketplaces and platforms.

Hurricane’s Zephyr data enhancement API allows bulk clearance facilities to check the accuracy of data including product descriptions and HS6 codes, and receive additional pertinent or missing information all under a single quick check function.

Zephyr can process over 700 million requests a day and can, on an item by item API call base, provide for a real time feedback with response times of 100 milliseconds. The screening of a file consisting of a maximum of 10,000 items that is sent to Hurricane takes no more than 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, its Aura API covers three other critical cross-border functions – duty and tax calculation, prohibited and restricted goods screening and denied parties screening.

 

Hurricane in the news:

A Gathering Storm for Parcel Post Importers Into the US and Europe – Handy Shipping Guide

STOP Act and ICS2 “double whammy” to hit Postal operators on 15th March – Tamebay

 

Hurricane Commerce cross-border eCommerce solutions go live on Magento Commerce

Hurricane Commerce’s data enhancement, duty and tax calculation, prohibited and restricted goods screening and denied parties screening products are now live on Magento Commerce.

The release of Hurricane’s solutions on Magento Commerce comes at a crucial time for eCommerce traders with Brexit and other changes to laws and regulations, making complete and valid electronic data mandatory.

Without the right data, shipments will be held at customs, causing significant delays, customer dissatisfaction and increased costs.

Magento merchants will be able to access Hurricane’s bespoke AI classification engine Bluestone to ensure their products have the right descriptions and HS6 codes.

Bluestone was built to understand detailed product language and nuances to identify descriptions and match them against the most appropriate customs commodity description and subsequent HS6 code.

Merchants will also be able to integrate Hurricane’s Aura solution, its API that covers duty and tax calculation, prohibited and restricted goods screening and screening of denied parties.

Martyn Noble, CEO of Hurricane Commerce, said: “We are excited that our products are now live on the Magento Marketplace and available to help eCommerce merchants drive greater performance in their cross-border trade.

“Our solutions reduce cart abandonment by enabling merchants to provide real-time calculations of duty and taxes, which gives their customers complete cost transparency.

“We know from our experience with existing customers that reducing cart abandonment can increase revenues by as much as 24%.”

The other major requirement for cross-border eCommerce shops is to ensure they are fully compliant.

Martyn added: “Regulations and laws are getting tougher around the globe.

“Merchants need to have complete and valid data on all shipments as well as ensuring they are not trying to ship goods into countries where they are not allowed. There is also the need to ensure you aren’t sending goods to anyone on a denied parties list.

“Hurricane’s industry-leading solutions are already used by merchants, marketplaces, postal authorities and carriers around the world. “We are delighted that they are available to Magento customers to enable them to accelerate the growth of their businesses and remain compliant.”

The Hurricane extension can be downloaded from the Magento Marketplace. Hurricane is a partner in the Adobe Exchange Partner Program.

https://marketplace.magento.com/hurricanecommerce-module-duty-tax-compliance.html

 

Hurricane in the news:

Tamebay – Duty and tax calculation for Magento Commerce from Hurricane Commerce

Hurricane Commerce and ELI Holdings sign cross-border eCommerce partnership

Cross-border trade specialist Hurricane Commerce has joined forces with leading UK-China business organisation ELI Holdings.

Hurricane and ELI signed an agreement to work together to help Chinese companies involved in international eCommerce.

The partnership was agreed during a prestigious event at The Swan in Tetsworth, Oxford, attended in person or virtually by senior Chinese delegates from the worlds of eCommerce, logistics and government.

Hurricane, which was founded in 2016, provides businesses with a range of solutions including data enhancement, product classification, duty and tax calculation, prohibited and restricted goods screening and denied parties screening.

Its services are in demand from customers around the world, including postal operators, carriers, retail merchants, marketplaces and platforms, all of whom are having to meet increasing global regulations.

Among the regulations is the US Stop Act. Since January 1, all mail parcels require complete and valid advanced electronic data (AED) to pass through US customs.

The UK and EU are also removing the exemption from VAT on eCommerce packets containing low value items while, in March 2021, the implementation of ICS2 will require postal operators to provide entry summary declarations before parcels can pass into or through the EU.

Hurricane Commerce

Martyn Noble, Chairman and CEO of Hurricane Commerce, said: “We are excited to have formed a partnership with ELI Holdings.

“ELI has been enabling businesses in China and the West to trade successfully for over 25 years.

“We will be working with James Wang and the ELI team to enable companies and organisations involved in Chinese eCommerce to capitalise on the many opportunities available while also successfully meeting the challenges of a fast-moving regulatory environment.”

ELI Holdings

James Wang, Chairman of ELI Holdings, said: “ELI is delighted to have agreed this important partnership with Hurricane Commerce.

“Together, our two companies can offer businesses the required technology, knowledge and skills to succeed in the complex world of global cross-border trade.”

The event at The Swan was held in the Queen Victoria Room. Queen Victoria is believed to have visited The Swan in 1832.

In addition to the agreement between Hurricane and ELI, the two companies also launched the China Europe eCommerce and Logistics Club (CEELC). The club brings together senior leaders from both sectors to create opportunities and share best practices.

 

Hurricane in the news:

Parcel and Postal Technology International – Hurricane Commerce and ELI Holdings sign cross-border e-commerce partnership

Cargo Airports and Airline Services – Hurricane Commerce and ELI Holdings sign cross border eCommerce partnership