Iran has increasingly utilized new methods to sneak its oil out of the country and into international markets, which is another reason why companies need automated data collection software to oversee their entire supply chain.
In 2012, the United States, the European Union and other international governments issued sweeping sanctions against Iran to prevent the country from obtaining weapons-grade nuclear material, including bans on buying Iranian oil. However, Reuters recently reported that Iran has still been able to export its crude oil. During the first three months of this year, the country exported approximately 18 million barrels, which equates to about 200,000 barrels a day. Of that amount, only 43 percent came from direct sales.
Instead, according to Reuters, Iran and others have been using trickery to ship oil into the global marketplace. Some of the tactics used include transferring oil onto boats docked in international waters, shipping oil to neutral third party sites for resale and mixing in Iranian oil with other shipments to hide its country of origin.
"Redocumentation of the cargoes takes place throughout the supply flow chain, and by the time it gets to the discharge port, the origin of the oil is untraceable," an anonymous oil trader told the news source."Along the way some blending takes place and the molecules change, so the structure of the oil gets altered and it becomes harder for anyone to really say definitively that this oil came from Iran."
How Automated Data Collection Software Helps Companies Stay Legal
For companies that want to avoid breaking the law, the latest report from Reuters is disturbing since it implies that many enterprises may be accidentally violating the sanctions. Considering how important world markets are for the U.S. economy - the U.S. imported more than 18.5 million barrels of oil a day last year, according to the Energy Information Administration - companies more than ever need to leverage automated data collection software to be sure their supplies are coming from legitimate sources only.
"Cargo liability has been a particularly vexing problem because so much of the issue is rooted in the distant past," said Edward Emmett, former president of the National Industrial Transportation League. "It is not a subject that the average person cares about, but it is vitally important to world commerce."
As the supply chain relied upon by companies expands globally, automated data collection software becomes increasingly important. No business can afford to simply trust the word of its partners, as organizations need complete oversight of every variable affecting their business and potential legal standing.