Sponsored Content

A global understanding and personalized services set Willson International apart from the pack

Willson International’s Angela Collins explains how her company’s knowledge of international trade agreements keeps business moving smoothly and efficiently for its clients

Importing and exporting has become the lifeblood of small and medium as well as large Canadian industries; but as everyone from mom and pop food processors to big automobile manufacturers can attest, the complexity of regulations governing these transactions is assuming baffling proportions.

Adding to the confusion are new rules driven by global security concerns, along with impending trade agreements and technology that will supposedly streamline customs processes.

These issues are nothing new to Angela Collins, VP, brokerage operations & regulatory affairs at Willson International. But their enormous scope, which was emphasized at the recent International Federation of Customs Brokers Associations summit in Shanghai that she attended, reinforced her conviction that her company’s services are needed more than ever.

Simply put, the custom brokerage’s partnership with clients results in minimizing the cost and maximizing the speed of multi-country business transactions. This is due to several factors, including a staff of industry experts who continuously engage with their trade communities, and a suite of customized electronic tools that provide real-time information on shipments, simplify compliance, streamline record-keeping and make effective pricing possible.

But that’s only part of Willson International’s services. “We also have an entire department focused exclusively on learning the intricacies of new international trade agreements, including Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),” says Collins. “As business becomes more global, it’s our job to do what busy companies cannot: maintain a firm understanding of the latest best practices and regulatory developments.”

Collins cites security-driven customs initiatives as one example of the rapidly changing landscape of international trade. “Every country wants to know what’s arriving at their borders well in advance of delivery, and this means more protocol that we are able to help our partners process,” she says.

Then there are developments such as Canada’s single window initiative, whereby traders will be able to provide all required import information electronically to the Canada Border Services Agency, which in turn will transmit the information to the appropriate venue responsible for regulating the goods. Collins notes, “This will streamline the import process, and we invest in such initiatives as well as paperless clearance and other digital innovations, in order to pass the benefits onto our partners.”

But what really distinguishes Willson International, which recently opened an office in Vancouver for clients who trade with the U.S. west coast and across the Pacific, is its personalized service. “We spend a lot of face-to-face time understanding our partners’ product lines, their destinations and the required compliances in order to simplify trade and obtain the best duty rates,” says Collins. “On one hand we’re big enough to provide the best manpower and technology, but on the other we retain the agility to tailor services to specific needs.”

As west coast businesses anticipate the implementation of TPP, Collins and her colleagues are ready to help them make it a hub for trans-Pacific trade and expansion. “The challenges in the global trading  world are enormous, but so are the opportunities,” she says. “We’re here to ensure that these opportunities aren’t missed.”