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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Shippers adding transit time, absorbing cost to comply with U.S. Customs security rule, survey says


To comply with U.S. Customs Service's new anti-terrorism rules, some global shippers are adding supply-chain cycle time rather than risk delays or fines, according to an online survey conducted Feb. 10-17 by Adler Research for logistics and transportation services company BDP and subsidiary Centrx.

Effective Feb. 2, a U.S. Customs Advanced Manifest System regulation requires shippers to file complete import manifest documentation at least 24 hours before U.S.-bound vessels are loaded at foreign ports.
About 15 percent of shippers are scheduling a simultaneous arrival of both containerized cargo and manifest data at ports rather than send documents in advance of goods, BDP says.

Shippers believe resulting supply-chain delays can be attributed to carrier directives that require cargo data in advance of a 24-hour deadline, uneven support by foreign suppliers and internal barriers to revised data flow, the survey says.

By a three-to-two margin, survey respondents believe the 24-hour rule would enhance security, although 23 percent believe the rule's impact is significant or extreme. About 30 percent of shippers reported moderate to significant compliance costs, but half hadn't yet determined how to recover costs and 42 percent plan to absorb additional expenses.

About 45 percent of respondents also are considering operational changes to comply with initiatives under U.S. Customs' Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program.

About half of survey respondents are exporters in Asia, Europe, Africa, Mexico/Central America, the Middle East, South America and the United States, with the balance mostly U.S. importers.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/20/2003