Universities who share research materials and ship samples need
export compliance controls. However, compliance alone is not enough.
In the latest Precision Report we look at integrated shipping
solutions for universities and how they drive efficiencies across
research chains and educational institutions.
If the imprisonment of John Reece Roth taught American universities
anything it’s this: US authorities can and will prosecute academics
who are careless with export compliance.
compliance is increasingly important for universities and other
centers of higher learning. Many American universities have
connections with institutions abroad. These help them attract foreign
academics as well as graduate students. These relationships are
fruitful, but they are not without risk — particularly for academics
working on export-controlled research. Sensitive research — and
certainly anything with a military application — is restricted to US
citizens and permanent residents. Universities must obtain a license
from the government before they can allow foreign academics or
students to work on any export-controlled projects.
Universities are in an analogous position in the European Union. EU
laws regarding dual-use and arms export controls have expanded in
recent years. As a result, they now cover a wide range of goods,
technologies and activities, including certain areas of academic
research. Universities and academics can unwittingly violate export
controls by sending research materials to foreign peers or even by
publishing their research on the internet.
Large research institutes share a number of parallels with life
science companies. Their supply chains are very complex. The items
they ship are often delicate and temperature-sensitive, they may have
half-lives or living cells, and are frequently classified as
hazardous. This makes the shipping, post dock visibility, and trade
compliance all necessary for university shippers.
However, unlike commercial life science companies, universities
traditionally do not have mature supply chains. In many cases, their
compliance teams are small and they struggle trying to reconcile
disparate data. It is fair to say that the supply chain at many
educational institutions is an afterthought.
Furthermore, most universities have little to no control over their
shipping spend. Nor do they have enforceable rules in place to govern
shipping behavior. Scientists are not professional shippers and
important compliance checks are often overlooked. Last, but not least,
visibility across their transportation network is lacking.
International collaboration between academics is increasing. However,
we are also living at a time of heightened security concerns around
sensitive technology and research. All of this means that a
comprehensive trade compliance solution is crucial for universities.
However, export compliance alone does not cover all of a university’s
shipping requirements. While it is possible to use separate systems
for export control and transportation
execution, this adds complexity to the process and creates
separate data silos. Universities, like any enterprise, require
visibility across all their shipment activities. They also need to
standardize shipping procedures, control costs, audit and reconcile
their shipping invoices, and drive efficiencies across research chains
and the institution as a whole. A comprehensive global trade and
transportation solution should be campus-wide. It should also offer
universities the following benefits:
Alternating between an export compliance system and carrier
interfaces is time consuming and subject to keystroke errors. An
integrated global trade compliance and transportation execution
solution vets every shipment to check it can proceed. This includes
denied party list screening for international research partners,
determining end use and validating the country of destination. In
addition, your solution should ensure that any special documentation
or actions are included. This allows you to perform due diligence, as
well as creates an electronic audit trail to create audit-ready
records. Integrated shipping solutions for universities help ensure
that all your shipments are compliant with export controls and enforce
best practices across the institution.
Manually switching between carriers looking for the best rates,
transit times and service levels is a drain on resources. In addition,
you must ensure that each parcel is compliant with that carrier’s
specific requirements. Not doing so leads to delays and lost packages.
This can be a distinct worry for universities — their parcels are
often time-sensitive, require special handling or contain hazardous
materials. Carriers also penalize you with additional costs for
non-compliant packages or labels.
Furthermore, universities who send international shipments must
comply with a variety of ever changing shipping requirements. This
means you need knowledge of import tariffs, packaging specifications,
customs rules and compliance regulations. Standardized procedures help
universities mitigate these risks by allowing you to seamlessly switch
between carriers, automating carrier compliant labeling, generating
the appropriate shipping documents for global destinations and
managing denied party screening — all while adhering to your specific
However, it is not enough to set standardized procedures. Simplifying
the individual user experience is also crucial. A desktop
shipping solution that provides an intuitive “walk-up” user
interface helps campus-wide adoption and allows you to successfully
implement controls across your institution.
In the United States export control laws regulate the release of
goods and technologies that affect US national security or foreign
policy interests. Similarly, EU regulations strictly control the
movements of dual-use goods and a wide range of technologies. As
colleges and universities enroll international students, send
professors abroad to research or study, hire international faculty,
and offer distance learning courses as well as develop advanced
technologies on campus, compliance with export control laws is crucial.
Importantly, export control laws do not just affect the physical
shipment of an article or technology abroad. Under “deemed export”
regulations, an institution can export technology to a foreign country
simply by disclosing sensitive information to foreign nationals.
However, exceptions to these laws exist for fundamental research, so
universities should be familiar with their obligations under the law.
Your shipping solution therefore must be robust in trade compliance
and be able to handle the complex areas of the research chain.
Universities, like life sciences companies, move an array of highly
diverse contents such as living cells, common or experimental drugs
and solvents, test specimens and data. As global trade becomes more
and more controlled and restricted, universities must constantly
improve their shipping processes and have greater visibility into the
movements of goods across their research chains. This allows them
mitigate risk in an ocean of changing regulations.
A complete shipping solution should include automated
documentation production and electronic customs reporting.
Without the correct documentation your shipments will be delayed in
customs, resulting in financial penalties or samples being destroyed.
A best-in-class automated solution will create all of the documents
required to complete a shipment. These must be prepared correctly and
presented at the right time in the right format. This must include all
international, regulatory and multilingual documentation, as well as
the correct documents for shipping dangerous goods or hazardous materials.
Your campus-wide transportation solution should include access to a
global multi carrier shipping network. Multi
carrier shipping provides more shipping options, service levels
and competitive rates. With a comprehensive multi carrier software
solution, you can seamlessly switch between carriers while maintaining
campus-wide shipping procedures. A flexible multi carrier strategy
must offer you access to a network of global carriers with a wide
range of capabilities, services and modes of transportation. The
system should also allow you to integrate preferred carriers.
Furthermore, your solution provider should provide ongoing compliance
to any carrier regulation changes.
When you send or receive biologics, hazardous goods or high value
research materials, shipment visibility and tracking is crucial. You
need visibility for shipments from pick-up to the final delivery. A
central portal to track all shipments is also necessary — no matter
how many different carrier services you use.
exception management allows you to harmonizing shipping statuses
and provides visibility as your packages travel across the carrier
network. It also alerts you to exceptions so that you can proactively
resolve delays. This way you do not waste resources tracking shipments
that are on target for on-time delivery. Finally, having a single
location for proof of delivery data helps you to streamline invoicing
and auditing, as well as supports compliance initiatives.
Many universities ship parcels on an ad hoc basis. As a result, they
have a poor understanding of their parcel spend. There are a number of
reasons for this. Different schools and administrative units may have
their own procedures. In addition, the parcel shipping data is often
fragmented across a number of carrier systems. Furthermore, many
universities do not track intercampus shipping costs and simply pay
carrier invoices as they arrive. This can result in excessively high charges.
In the US, and around much of the world, transportation costs are
rising. The growth of e-commerce and driver shortages have squeezed
capacity. At the same time, dimensional pricing and accessorial
charges can significantly increase costs. Controlling parcel shipping
costs is crucial.
Universities can also realize significant savings by leveraging freight
bill auditing software.This will allow you to audit all of your
transportation invoices, regardless of carrier, mode, geography,
language or currency. This also gives you insight into your
transportation operations and spending with in-depth reporting.
Better management of carrier charges, errors, and post-shipment fees
is critical to driving greater negotiation power with the school’s
preferred carriers. All of these improvements represents an enormous
A single source for all shipping data allows universities to access
and analyze this business
intelligence for strategic decision-making throughout the
institution. Proper shipping, tracking and invoice data gives you a
significant advantage. It provides insights into critical key
performance indicators such as on time versus late deliveries and
contract versus billed rates. Your solution needs to be able to
consolidate and harmonize data from disparate sources. Your data
should be easy to access without complex database queries and
programming resources. It should also be easy to understand, visualize
By adopting campus-wide, standardized procedures, administrative
personnel will be able to allocate shipments to the correct grant,
research group or college as needed. Instead of researchers and
students shipping on an ad hoc basis, an easy to use desktop shipping
system will ship parcels using the university’s rules for rates,
transit times and service levels. In this way, the university can
minimize shipping spend and avoid unnecessary charges. Greater costs
savings are also realized by automatically auditing freight bills as
well as visibility and insights across all shipment data. All inbound
and outbound shipments can be easily traced from one portal, and the
appropriate personnel alerts should problems arise in-transit.
An integrated export compliance and transportation solution means
that your shipments meet export controls and international
regulations. It also streamlines shipping, offers shipment visibility,
manages shipping budgets, supports research-chain productivity and
drives efficiencies across the institution. By integrating export
compliance and transportation, the university gains control over all
aspects of shipping, across every college, department, research group
and administrative unit.
QAD Precision (Precision Software), a division of QAD Inc., provides
industry-leading global trade management, transportation execution and
multi carrier shipping software solutions from a single, integrated
platform. Preeminent industry leaders in every region of the world
rely on QAD Precision’s global support centers to leverage thousands
of carriers and manage millions of shipping transactions every day.
Our open architecture easily integrates with Enterprise Resource
Planning, Warehouse Management Systems and legacy solutions. An
ISO-certified company, QAD Precision assists companies to minimize
shipping costs, optimize first mile and last mile deliveries, automate
free trade agreement compliance, avoid customs delays and mitigate the
risks associated with dynamic trading environments to maximize their
competitive advantage. QAD Precision’s customers span multiple
industries including banking and finance, life sciences, high
technology, retail, industrial, automotive, higher education and
public sector as well as logistics providers. For more information
about QAD Precision, visit www.precisionsoftware.com.