Border and Port of Entry Transit of In-Bond Container (Draft)
Stakeholders expressed a number of needs specifically related to reducing border and port transit times including:
- Measure border and port queue/transit times, using automated means and provide real time and potentially predictive information to goods movement stakeholders;
- Utilize common vehicle transponder and driver identification platforms across the borders and ports to avoid having to use multiple devices and accounts;
- Examine opportunities for coordinating traffic management and border operations to optimize primary inspection lane assignments and/or create “border crossing appointments”. This could help to manage/distribute peak demand for border truck traffic and also assisting both CBSA and CBP in resource/operations planning; and
- Further facilitate trusted carrier programs using new and emerging electronic technologies to automated screening of safe and secure trucks/drivers/cargo. The FAST program should be coordinated with upstream infrastructure configuration and traffic management systems such that FAST trucks don’t have to mix with regular traffic, which detracts from the advantages of FAST.
The Current Environment is primarily focused on supporting border security needs, with freight transportation system efficiency for in-bond shipments generally not considered as a priority:
- In-bond shipments, which in this case are shipments from overseas which transit Canada for ultimate destinations in the U.S., represent a potential growing market for Canadian freight and intermodal services;
- As container ships approach the Port of Montreal, the shippers are required to provide a 72-hour advance notice concerning the contents (bill of lading) of the container;
- Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is responsible for cargo release (and potential inspection);
- As the truck departs the Port of Montreal, the shipper or 3PL is already processing the necessary paperwork and brokerage services (to bond the motor carrier) in advance of the truck crossing the border into the U.S. – this results in the carrier filing an E-Manifest with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP); and
- Drivers at the border crossing typically use Free And Security Trade (FAST) lanes, provided both the shipment and driver are C-TPAT compliant; these lanes can result in swifter border crossing times.
The Smart Corridor should take advantage of recent development in RFID and sensors to create a modernized border environment that can result in swifter transits by safe and legal trucks, including:
- Implement Electronic Container Seals (E-Seals) on containers transiting the port and border. This will allow for electronic verification by Customs personnel of the security of the container;
- Expand use the FAST transponder to utilize it to support tracking of the vehicle both upstream and downstream of the border crossing, such that is can serve as a traveller information probe for calculation of ATIS border transit times; and
- Through backoffice systems, in advance of the truck approaching and border processing gate, CSBA and CBP “associate” the truck (through the FAST RFID) with the container (through the E-Seal), and the use their “targeting algorithms” to determine which trucks to route to secondary inspection – this can result in significant efficiencies over today’s processes, and result in safe and legal trucks transiting the border faster.
The above approach also provides for the truck and container to be continually tracked across the Smart Corridor (through deployed readers), which will provide significant data points for the ATIS; additionally all of this information, when integrated in the ATIS, will provide drivers crossing the border with real-time delay information superior to what is available today.