Inside Logistics

Canadian SMEs believe in trade, focus locally

Only 37 percent of Canadian SMEs are currently selling goods online

November 13, 2019

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario – Canadian small and medium businesses (SMEs) have made it clear that economic improvement and international trade are closely linked, with 83 percent agreeing that increasing trade between Canada and other countries will improve the economy overall.

Despite a majority of SMEs (57 percent) believing that increasing the amount of trade between Canada and other countries will help their business, only 37 percent of Canadian SMEs are currently selling goods online. This is in contrast with American counterparts, who are doing more business online (44 percent).

While both Canadian and US SMEs share the view that trade is important to the economy, the poll confirms both are largely focused on local customers.

“These results are very clear when it comes to our country’s approach to trade,” said Lisa Lisson, president of FedEx Express Canada, which sponsored the 2019 FedEx Trade Index research.

“Put simply, it is vital that SMEs and their ability to compete on the global stage remains a priority in Canada, to contribute to economic growth. Looking at how we achieve this growth, we know there is a huge opportunity for Canadian SMEs to harness the digital economy – and they should absolutely be using it to their advantage.”

Looking more deeply at the impact trade has on SMEs who currently import/export, 81 percent admit that fees and tariffs have had a great deal or some effect on the growth on their business. Also within this group, nearly half (48 percent) of those surveyed say that variations in fees and tariffs have been a major challenge to their business; and 44 percent say that import and export fees have been a major challenge to their business.

The poll was conducted from September 17 to September 20, 2019 among 500 SME decision makers in the Canada. These interviews were conducted online using a panel of respondents.  The goal of the research is to understand the impact of international trade among SMEs and as well as their opinions regarding the national economy.