Maersk and the WTO’s Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation

In December 2015, A.P. Moller - Maersk joined and took a seat on the steering committee of the newly established Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation under WTO. The new alliance consists of governments, international companies such as Maersk, DHL and Wal-Mart, and the International Chamber of Commerce and the World Economic Forum.

Watch an example of the complexity involved in shipping a container for export from Kenya.

The objective of the Global Alliance for Trade is to accelerate trade facilitation reforms by supporting swift and wide implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The first step for the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation is to diagnose the largest trade barriers in specific countries. With 90 percent of all traded goods moved by sea, the Maersk can support this process with the insight of our experts on local markets.

Today, customs processes can involve large amounts of documentation that typically are not digitalised. This and lack of coordination between private and government actors adds unnecessary waiting time and delays to traded goods, resulting in added inventory costs and the risks of penalties for importers and exporters.

Reforms aiming at reducing transit time of goods across borders can increase trade flows significantly and thus drive growth and job creation in low- and middle-income countries. The WTO estimates that a full implementation of the TFA can add $1 trillion to the global GDP annually and 21 million new jobs globally. A successful implementation will therefore benefit all countries involved, as well as importers and exporters.

For more information about the Global Alliance and the impact of the TFA, please visit:

About the WTO’s Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation

  • The Trade Facilitation Agreement is part of the 2013 WTO Bali Agreement and will enter into force once two-thirds (108) of the members have completed their domestic ratification process.
  • The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation consists of a number of large international companies in the support of the donor governments Canada, Germany, United Kingdom and the United States. The secretariat of the alliance is anchored with the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Economic Forum and the Center for International Private Enterprise.