The opportunities for U.S. companies to grow business are plentiful, but you have to be ready and know how to take advantage of them.

Despite a rather sluggish recovery in the global economy, the International Monetary Fund’s global growth forecast stands at 3.2 percent this year, picking up to 3.5 percent in 2017. Clearly growth opportunities remain, and the avenues for accessing them are opening.

Two decades ago, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) made trade with our neighbors in Canada and Mexico … well … more neighborly. Government data show that U.S. exports to Mexico in 2015 were up 468 percent from pre-NAFTA 1993, while U.S. exports to Canada were up 179 percent.

Since then, we’ve seen many free trade agreements spur global trade. Today, the Trans-Pacific Partnership promises to be the most substantial free trade agreement in history, connecting 12 global economies and 800 million consumers across the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region.

“Smart companies are looking to more distant horizons. That’s where UPS can help,” said Charlie Chung, a senior marketing manager at UPS. UPS has paved the way with a suite of services and express delivery options to more than 220 countries and territories worldwide, he said.

Of course, you don’t have to go international to take advantage of UPS’s vast resources. They work just as well in the United States. But why stop at the border? It’s a big world out there that’s getting more accessible all the time. 

Expanding your customer base overseas is just as easy. UPS already has invested in its network and infrastructure with air hubs across North America and around the world. UPS Air Cargo provides airport-to-airport cargo service to more than 90 U.S. airports and more than 120 international airports.

Still, there’s always risk to taking a business into foreign markets. Just getting goods in and out of foreign countries can be prohibitively difficult. But UPS is there for you as one of the world’s largest customs brokers.  

And UPS Trade Credit Insurance helps mitigate the risk of expanding globally. By using trade credit insurance to protect your receivables against insolvency, bankruptcy or protracted default, you can accept larger domestic and export orders knowing you’re guaranteed payment.

Manufacturers also are finding growth, going directly to the customer. According to a UPS Industrial Buying Dynamics study, a majority of businesses – 64 percent – are already doing it and another 30 percent are considering it. Customers like the direct connection too.

“Manufacturers are looking for more opportunities to support brand, but end customers want more support, immediate response and repair to get production up and running again,” Chung says.

Finally, manufacturers can also boost their business and reduce costs with UPS Access Points – convenient neighborhood locations where packages can be delivered and picked up.

It’s an ideal solution for a company managing a team of repair technicians in the field. It’s impossible to keep every part on each truck or even in the warehouse, plus it’s expensive.

Shipping directly to an Access Point cuts inventory and storage costs, and keeps techs from having to run back and forth to a central warehouse location.

AMT and IMTS are proud to have UPS as our Global Logistics Provider.