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Enabling Frictionless Supply Chains

By Professor Richard Wilding OBE

Enabling Frictionless Border Image

Creating the Frictionless Border is increasingly important in times of increased volatility be it Brexit or US trade tariffs.

Remember competition is not between individual companies but the supply chains they are part of so how can we make our supply chain network more frictionless?

One European Initiative is Authorised Economic Operator status. AEO status is an internationally recognised quality mark indicating that your role in the international supply chain is secure, and that your customs controls and procedures are efficient and compliant.”

  • AEOC – Customs
  • AEOS – Security & Safety

So by asking the question of your supply chain partners as to whether they have AEO status could be a useful start in perusing the frictionless supply chain. Many countries have similar initiatives based around the World Customs Organization Council – SAFE framework (WCO – SAFE) which aligns with AEO status so as supply chain professionals it may be useful to pursue these also.



Our work in this area at Cranfield is one of the areas explored within the Supply Chain Management Programme  - one of our specialist programmes designed to develop appropriate skills for next generation professionals in these fields.

Blog produced by:  Professor Richard Wilding OBE, Professor of Supply Chain Strategy and Programme Director of the Supply Chain Management Programme, Cranfield School of Management for this blog content.


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