Eurora Solutions, provider of an artificial intelligence machine learning-based (AI/ML) cross-border e-commerce compliance platform, has appointed global Ecommerce executive Walter Trezek as its non-executive Chairman of the Supervisory Board to support the Company’s global expansion.
Trezek brings over 35 years of experience in digital commerce and logistics. He is the Chairman of the Consultative Committee of the Universal Postal Union, a specialised agency of the United Nations that coordinates postal policies among 192 member nations and facilitates the worldwide postal system. He is also the co-chair of the eLogistics & Taxation Working Committee at Ecommerce Europe, an association representing 150,000+ companies selling goods and services online to consumers in Europe. He is an advisor to the European Commission (EC) on logistics, value added tax (VAT), customs and postal market matters.
Trezek was one of the first employees of Stamps.com, the Silicon Valley internet start-up and inventor of the digital stamp, which listed in 1999 at a $3.8 billion valuation. After the successful Initial Public Offering, Walter was invited to become the Head of Technology & Sales at Austria Post, where he contributed to the organisation’s restructuring that led to the company’s listing on the Vienna stock exchange.
Trezek’s appointment aligns with the Company’s plans for geographical expansion. Fuelled by the US$40 million Series A funding round in April this year, Eurora recently announced the opening of a central office in Miami, and the appointment of Chris Lentjes, a Pitney Bowes and DHL veteran with more than 20+ years of industry experience, as its US CEO. Before the end of the calendar year, Eurora plans to open an Engineering Hub in Dubai and an Innovation and Research Center in Estonia.
The Ecommerce sector in these regions is expected to undergo rapid growth. Having almost tripled in the past decade, global parcel shipping volumes are projected to reach over 260 billion deliveries by 2026, or 32.5 parcels per global citizen. Eurora is perfectly positioned to capitalise on this growth with its full suite of automated e-commerce solutions ready to service players across the entire supply chain.
Trezek commented: “With the growing energy crisis and record inflation rates across the globe, consumers are left with less disposable income, encouraging them to look to online retailers for lower price points. This will add additional strain on postal systems and Ecommerce companies which are already facing climbing costs. As noted in the WSJ coverage of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals State of Logistics Report, business logistics costs rose 22% in 2021 as companies worked to adjust to shifting consumer demand. The cost of returns in the US rose by 21%, and the inventory costs increased by 26% last year alone. Record inflation rates will add further strain to an industry that already operates at very low margins, increasing efficiency is an essential element in remaining competitive. I believe Eurora’s AI/ML-based approach can play an instrumental role in making e-commerce leaner, faster and more cost-efficient.”
In July last year, new trading regulations between the EU and the rest of the world gradually came into effect. The new legislation is designed to increase transparency for customers and reduce underpayment of VAT. The EU launched its Import One Stop Shop (IOSS), allowing businesses to collect and directly pay VAT on their sales into the EU, and ended the €22 import VAT exemption. Companies selling goods from outside the EU can register for VAT collection at the time of purchase, although they can still opt to have VAT collected by the national postal operators upon delivery.
The postal operator collection fees vary among the 27 Member States and, according to the Universal Postal Union, can sometimes surpass the value of the parcels. The higher fees result from the misallocation of appropriate HS codes, a classification system that enables product identification and allocates applicable customs tariffs. There are around 5,000 different HS codes with varying fees.
Service providers employing human interfaces or hybrid systems are prone to inaccuracies. Eurora revolutionises VAT collection by applying AI and ML to verify that the data presented is accurate, solving highly complex data problems with sophisticated self-learning systems, and providing a very high level of data quality, to ensure that a product is correctly labelled and the appropriate fees paid.
Marko Lastik, the Founder and Global CEO of Eurora, said: “Walter is a giant in the global Ecommerce industry. With his guidance and further investment in our technology, Eurora is ideally placed to capitalise on these legislative changes. Our platform can already verify the accuracy of parcel data, and its functionality can easily be extended to verify compliance with transport security or product safety. This might prove a challenge for companies under-investing in their technology, however, many of whom are already struggling to comply with the current regulations.
“Eurora currently has over 250 paying clients, and our software is used to ship more than a billion parcels each year. Everyone, from large marketplaces to small and medium-sized enterprises, needs software capable of providing integrated services, increasing efficiency and making the parcel’s journey seamless – the Eurora platform benefits merchants and postal operators alike.”