The elephant in your shipping department: Miscellaneous Shipments

The elephant in the shipping department

Export compliance is a complex and ever-evolving field, with companies of all sizes facing challenges in navigating the various regulations and requirements for international trade. While many large companies have invested in software infrastructure to manage their shipping operations, miscellaneous shipments can still be the cause of a significant capability gap. These shipments often involve non-standard products or destinations and can pose substantial risks if not properly managed.

Do you know how many shipments your company sends out that circumvent your internal processes? If you don’t, you are not alone, as many business owners and managers do not. And yet, miscellaneous shipments can expose your company to high additional expenses and significant legal risk.

Capability Gap in Export Compliance.

While many companies have sophisticated software solutions in place to manage their shipping operations, there are still capability gaps when it comes to miscellaneous shipments which may cause all sorts of daily challenges but also longer-term complications.

These shipments may involve complex regulatory requirements, such as licensing or permits, that are not easily managed within existing software systems. They may also involve new or unfamiliar destinations or customers, which can pose legal risks if not properly screened and verified through reliable Restricted Party Screening (RPS) platforms.

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, responsible for export control and compliance, frequently issues penalties to companies who do not meet US export compliance regulations. Government enforced penalties can include fines ranging in the hundred thousands to over $1 Million per violation, jail time for repeat offenders and even the suspension of an organizations export rights.  For example, in May, the BIS imposed a $283,500 fine against Regal Beloit for violations of the Antiboycott Regulations, see the press release here: file (  In April the BIS handed out their largest penalty ever, $300 Million fine against Seattle based Seagate Technology, relating to shipments to Huawei, see the press release here: file ( .

Miscellaneous shipments may seem infrequent or small in volume and value, making it difficult to justify the investment in specialized software or personnel to manage them. But in reality, miscellaneous shipments can represent a significant part of a company’s exporting operations and can create large inefficiencies. Miscellaneous shipments are rarely accurately tracked internally. Senior management often lacks complete visibility on overall volume and costs and is unaware of the stringent legal liabilities the company may be facing.

Solutions to the Compliance Gap.

Finding a comprehensive solution to fill this capability gap and manage export compliance across all shipments may sound daunting, however, it will offer your company the long-term benefits of reducing the risk of penalties, fines, and significant reputational damage.

To find the right solution for your company, here are the top 5 criteria you should expect from a miscellaneous shipment tool:

  1. The tool should be customizable to your operation and integrate with your existing shipping and logistics systems should you deem an integration appropriate for your volume and workflows.
  2. The tool should provide a user-friendly interface to manage compliance risks associated with miscellaneous shipments and should not require the need for specialized personnel.
  3. The tool should automate document creation, Automated Export System (AES) filing, and restricted party screening (RPS), reducing the risk of errors or omissions.
  4. The tool should provide real-time shipment workflow tracking and reporting capabilities, allowing companies to monitor compliance risks and address issues in a timely manner..
  5. The tool should be affordable and be easily configured and established into your operations.


Export compliance is a complex and ever-evolving field, with companies of all sizes facing challenges in managing the various regulations and requirements for national and international trade. While companies often invest in software infrastructure to manage their typical shipping operations, miscellaneous shipments are being overlooked, causing additional expenses and posing significant risks to unaware companies.

At TRABEX, our software offers a comprehensive solution for managing compliance risks associated with these shipments. It integrates seamlessly with existing shipping and logistics systems and provides real-time tracking and reporting capabilities, automating many of the compliance processes. By filling this capability gap, TRABEX supports its partners in completing the required standards in legal due diligence, improving compliance across all shipments, thus reducing the risk of penalties, fines, or significant reputational damage.