Global trade outlook 2018: What are the biggest trends, technologies, opportunities and challenges?


rocket taking off out of hand

rocket taking off out of hand

Naturally, at the end of 2017, we began to look at what was in store for the year ahead. 

We published our run-down of the top 10 global trade trends we would be following in 2018, and how supply chain management would change over the next several months.

But, as always, we wanted to hear from the experts on what trends, technology, opportunities and challenges they had their eyes on. In this month’s #TradeElite Twitter chat, we gave our knowledgeable panel the chance to provide some of their best tools and tips for SMEs going into what is sure to be another big year for international business.

Follow the conversation below!


Audrey Ross (@TresAudrey), Logistics and Customs Specialist with Orchard International Inc. based out of Mississauga, ON.


Craig Atkinson, CITP (@CraigAAtkinson) – Consultant,
ITC and a visiting fellow with the World Trade Institute based out of Halifax, NS and Geneva, Switzerland.

Marie-France Paquet (@PaquetMF) – Chief Economist, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) based out of Ottawa, ON

Cathy Morrow Roberson (@cmroberson06) – Founder/Head  Analyst of Logistics Trends and Insights based out of Atlanta, GA

What are your goals for 2018? (Refocus on core customers? Improve Supply Chain? Become more sustainable? Tackle compliance threats?

Geographically, where do you see the biggest opportunities for North American companies in 2018?

As a follow up, by industry, where are the biggest opportunities for businesses around the world in 2018?

What new technologies do you think will have the biggest impact on global trade? (hyperloop, blockchain, AI, etc?)

2017 was filled with front-page incidents ranging from corruption, to forced / underpaid labour, to harassment, worker safety & the environment. Do you think companies will start taking steps to address these issues? Is “reputation risk” a threat?

What are steps SME’s can take to illuminate their supply chains and ensure their agents & partners are being transparent and following good business practices?

In an increasingly cluttered and complex global market, what makes businesses stand out? What helps them to grow quickly?

What tools and resources are available for businesses who want to tackle the challenges of international trade in 2018? Where is the best place to start?

Read the rest of the chat and follow future discussions by following the #TradeElite hashtag. Stay tuned for the next #TradeElite chat, coming up Thursday, February 15 at 2:30-3:30PM ET, and if you haven’t yet, join us on Twitter at @FITTNews.

Do you have any burning questions for the panel that weren’t addressed in the chat? What are your goals for 2018? Leave them in the comments below and let’s keep the conversation going!

About the author

Author: Pamela Hyatt

I am the Content Marketing Specialist for the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT). You can find some of my work on My background is in copywriting, journalism and social media. My passion lies in connecting people to the stories that are most important to them.

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