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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

Hurricane Tamebay Webinar

Hurricane Commerce signs up for Tamebay Live Show

We are delighted to be a main sponsor and speaker at the first ever Tamebay Live.

The 5-day virtual event in May is set to be a great new addition to the calendar for retailers, brands, marketplaces and anyone else involved in the fast growing world of eCommerce.

More than 30 workshops and a host of masterclasses have been lined up from May 17-21 with each day having its own theme.

Hurricane is the headline sponsor and co-host for Day 1, called ‘Back to Basics’, and will then be a speaker on Day 4, which is all about Cross-Border selling.

Martyn Noble, Hurricane’s CEO, said: “Tamebay have come up with an innovative and hugely timely event that will give retailers, brands and others involved in eCommerce plenty of food for thought and inspiration.

“We are thrilled to be playing a leading part and, particularly, look forward to sharing knowledge and ideas that will help anyone looking to grow their sales internationally.

For more information about Tamebay Live and to register to attend visit https://tamebaylive.com/

Please also keep an eye on the Hurricane website and LinkedIn for further details as we run up to this hugely exciting conference.

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

Parcel delays loom as STOP Act and ICS2 hit on March 15

Postal operators are bracing themselves for the biggest date in their calendar this year.

Next Monday (March 15) sees the enforcement of the US STOP Act and the European Union’s Import Control System 2 (ICS2).

The STOP Act had originally been due to come into full effect on January 1 until it was moved to March to give US Customs and Border Protection more time to prepare for the regulations.

The Act requires postal operators to provide a higher level of advance electronic data (AED) than had previously been necessary.

ICS2 is also aimed at postal operators and requires entry summary declarations to be submitted on parcels coming into and through the EU.

Cross-border eCommerce specialist Hurricane Commerce’s technology is enabling postal operators across the globe to meet the new requirements for complete and valid data including product descriptions, HS6 codes and country of origin.

Martyn Noble, Hurricane’s CEO, said: “March 15 is the biggest date in the diary for postal operators this year and the level of preparedness varies from one authority to the next.

“But the stark reality is that, as of next Monday, postal operators and their customers will need to produce complete and valid data on their eCommerce shipments.

“We have already seen the impact of a lack of quality data on parcels since Brexit on January 1. The STOP Act and ICS2 are the next major challenges and then we have the introduction of the EU VAT reforms in July.

“With the Coronavirus pandemic continuing to place huge pressures on air freight capacity, the supply chain industry cannot afford delays, returns and additional storage, not to mention the associated extra costs.

“In December, we predicted that a lack of readiness for the STOP Act could result in several hundred million shipments being held up and we believe this remains the case. This is without adding in the impact of ICS2 with the onset of much greater scrutiny.

“The cross-border eCommerce landscape has changed for good, but those postal operators which get their data right will be able to meet these challenges and achieve scale.”

Hurricane’s solutions were specifically developed to enable customers to meet the challenges of the new regulations.

Hurricane’s Zephyr data enhancement API allows bulk clearance facilities to check, find and populate additional or missing data including product descriptions and HS6 codes.

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

The company was established in 2016 and clients include Australia Post, An Post, SEKO Logistics and Lenton Group. Postal operators can access Hurricane’s solutions direct or via the IPC’s Dynamic Merchant Platform (DMP) and UPU.

 

Hurricane in the media:

Parcel and Postal Technology International – Parcel delays loom as STOP Act and ICS2 hit on March 15

Post and Parcel – Parcel delays loom as STOP Act and ICS2 to hit next Monday

Hurricane Tamebay Webinar

Hurricane to discuss impact of March 2021 regulations in Tamebay Webinar

March 15th should be etched in the diaries of anyone involved in cross-border eCommerce.

Two major regulatory events – the US STOP Act and ICS2 – come into force on this date.

Both will require cross-border traders to ensure they are providing complete and valid electronic data on their parcels.

Without it, several hundred million parcels are likely to get stuck at customs leading to increased costs, delays and, worst of all, reputational damage with customers.

The Tamebay webinar on March 15 will hear from Hurricane’s Martyn Noble and Bram Buijs. They will explain more about these and other regulations impacting cross-border eCommerce in 2021 and, crucially, what it means for businesses.

We’ll explain the critical importance of having complete and valid data (including HS6 codes, product descriptions, country of origin etc.) and also ensuring you are screening effectively for prohibited and restricted goods and so called denied parties.

This webinar is a must watch for merchants, marketplaces, carriers and anyone else involved in the cross-border supply chain.

To register for this event, follow the link below –

 

Will Brexit and the STOP Act kill cross-border eCommerce?

Is seamless cross-border eCommerce a thing of the past?

Hurricane co-founders Martyn Noble and David Spottiswood chat to the Postal Hub’s Ian Kerr about what’s happening and how complete and valid electronic data will determine the winners and losers in the world of online trading.

To listen to the podcast, follow this link to the Postal Hub Podcast: http://www.thepostalhub.com/podcasts/episode-226-cross-border-ecommerce-brexit-ics2-stop-act-hurricane

 

Video – Hurricane’s David Spottiswood talks to Daily Mail Online about Brexit parcel chaos

Hurricane’s David Spottiswood spoke at length to the Daily Mail Online about the parcel chaos unfolding since Brexit Day.

He also explains how Hurricane’s solutions are helping online retailers, postal operators and carriers get on top of the problem.

The key is having complete and valid data on your parcels if you want them to get through customs.

It’s also about being transparent with consumers about duty and tax and any other fees they are likely to face in order to receive their goods.

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