UPS Survey Reveals Positive Global Trade & Exporting Outlook Among U.S. High-Tech Companies

  UPS Survey Reveals Positive Global Trade & Exporting Outlook Among U.S.
  High-Tech Companies

   Executives Report 2014 Export Goals Achievable, Predict Growth Surges in
                          Demand Abroad Over 5 Years

Business Wire

ATLANTA -- October 01, 2012

Despite economic uncertainty at home and abroad, U.S. high-tech executives’
confidence in the future of global trade and U.S. exports has grown
significantly over the past two years.

Citing legislative changes and rising labor rates abroad as factors, 85
percent of U.S. high-tech executives believe the Obama administration’s
National Export Initiative goal to double exports by 2014 is either “very
likely” or “somewhat likely” to be achieved versus 40 percent who believed so
just after the goal was set two years ago.

The findings come from UPS’s annual “Change in the (Supply) Chain” survey,
conducted by IDC Manufacturing Insights and targeting U.S.-based senior-level
supply chain decision makers in the high-tech/electronics industry. The survey
is designed to uncover top business and supply chain trends driving change in
the high-tech/electronics industry. The 2012 survey focused specifically on
exporting and was conducted in May through July 2012.

Among executives who believe the export goal is achievable, nearly one in
three attribute this to the steady increase in disposable income in emerging
markets. Another third cite rising labor rates in traditional low-cost
manufacturing countries as a primary factor, and approximately one in five
cite legislative changes such as recent free trade agreements in Asia. A large
majority, 81 percent, of U.S. high-tech executives anticipate recent free
trade agreements in Asia will increase their company’s imports and exports to
and from the region.

Although North America is anticipated to remain the largest high-tech consumer
market over the next three to five years, demand for high-tech products is
expected to decrease by seven percent in the region while demand in other
markets is expected to increase, in some regions by double-digit percentages.

Specifically, executives report plans to increase sales/fulfillment in India,
the Middle East and Africa by 22 percent each and in Brazil by 18 percent.
Sales/fulfillment in other South American regions is expected to increase 19
percent. Eastern Europe (15 percent), Korea (13 percent), China (8 percent)
and other Asian nations (8 percent) also rank on the list of top high-tech
consumer demand markets.

“The anticipated shift in consumer market demand for high-tech goods brings
opportunities and challenges for high-tech companies,” said Ken Rankin,
high-tech marketing director at UPS. “Global demand will continue to grow in
new and existing markets, causing supply chain executives to shift not only
their fulfillment operations but also their sourcing strategies to serve those
markets. We have already begun to see such a shift as companies look to India
and Brazil as key markets not only for fulfillment but for production as

Outlook on the Future of U.S. Exports

Most surprising is the sizable increase in optimism around the 2014 U.S.
export goal. Not only do 85 percent believe the goal is ultimately attainable,
but 21 percent believe it is “very likely” to be achieved. In addition, a full
74 percent of high-tech executives expect to see growth in the individual
export of their company’s products within the next two years.

When asked why they anticipate global trade growth, 81 percent of U.S.
executives cite free trade agreements in Asia as a key factor. Respondents
also cite emerging market economies and their growing middle class with an
ever increasing appetite for technology products.

Assessing individual opportunities for international trade growth, only about
one in four high-tech executives believe their company’s import/export
capabilities are best-in-class and 72 percent report that opportunities for
improvement exist. Of that group, 22 percent report that significant
opportunities remain for their company to improve its import/export

Looking Ahead: Changes in the High-Tech Supply Chain

Supply chain costs (72 percent), lead times (40 percent) and responsiveness
(18 percent) rank as the top three drivers of change in the high-tech supply
chain in the next three to five years. Nearly half, 48 percent, of high-tech
executives cite extended lead times as one of the top three paint points in
the import/export process, in addition to managing inventory (42 percent) and
end-to-end visibility (38 percent). Unstable suppliers and intellectual
property protection follow closely behind on the list of pain points, at 37
percent and 30 percent of executives citing these as issues.

“For high tech companies, demand changes quickly and rapid innovation is a
necessity,” said Rankin. “The winners will be those companies that
successfully leverage the emerging market growth with strong products and
execute import/export excellence.”

For more information on the survey findings and to download an executive
summary of survey results, visit

Survey Methodology: The UPS Change in the (Supply) Chain survey was a blind,
in-depth phone survey conducted by IDC Manufacturing Insights on behalf of UPS
of approximately 125 high-tech manufacturers in the U.S. Qualified respondents
were senior-level decision-makers responsible for supply chain and logistics
in the semiconductor, consumer electronics, electronic components/accessories
and communications equipment industries. Surveys were conducted in May through
July 2012.

UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of
solutions including the transportation of packages and freight; the
facilitation of international trade, and the deployment of advanced technology
to more efficiently manage the world of business. Headquartered in Atlanta,
UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. The company can
be found on the Web at and its corporate blog can be found at To get UPS news direct, visit


Elizabeth Rasberry, 404-828-4866
Rebecca Harbin, 404-870-6825
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