Con-Way to implement homeland security surcharge for cross-border shipments

by Canadian Shipper

In what is likely a sign of things to come for much of the trucking industry, Con-Way Transportation Services, Inc., (Con-Way)today announced that effective January 2, 2003 the company’s four less-than-truckload (LTL) operating units will apply a Homeland Security Surcharge on all shipments moving across the Canada / U.S. border (both northbound and southbound).

The surcharge will be $8.00 per shipment.

Company officials cited the September 11 attacks in 2001 and the subsequent cost of government-mandated changes in freight security at the Canada and U.S. border as the reason for the surcharge. Those changes have included registration of each piece of equipment and each driver who crosses the border and mandated changes by both the U.S. and Canadian customs authorities concerning cross-border documents and security inspections. As a result of the changes the time to cross the border has increased, tying up
equipment and lengthening trip times. Additional time is also spent in preparing shipments for customs clearance.

“September 11 brought many changes to our lives. The need and concern for security is a goal we can all support, but it is having an impact on our operating costs. As government agencies on both sides of the border have continued to formulate and modify security plans, the increased cost impact has become a constant within our operations. It’s now time to begin to recover these costs,” said Douglas W. Stotlar, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Con-Way.

Con-Way, a subsidiary of CNF Inc, is participating in U.S. government meetings to help formulate a U.S. national program titled “Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism.” Known as C-TPAT, the program has a large budget and involves a wide variety of U.S. government agencies. C-TPAT will eventually establish minimum physical security standards for all facilities in an LTL motor carrier network.

Requirements that have been discussed at C-TPAT meetings include high intensity lighting, security cameras, perimeter fencing, high security rooms for freight not delivered and higher cost trailer seals. Other requirements discussed include electronic control devices for more secure entry into service facilities, new computer systems to monitor and capture shipment identity and transfer of the information to government computers, increased personnel security work during applicant background checks and the creation of
data files on all employees engaged in cross-border traffic.

“Con-Way has already invested in a number of these security systems at major facilities in urban areas. But each universally mandated improvement will come with a cost,” said Stotlar. Con-Way has estimated the cost to implement the facility, systems and procedural changes discussed so far to be an additional $15 to $20 million when put in place throughout their network of 426 service centers.

Con-Way Transportation Services, Inc. is a $2 billion transportation and services company that provides time-definite and day-definite freight delivery services and logistics for commercial and industrial businesses.

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