Trucking chief says latest US security measure would harm JIT inventory systems, trade

by Canadian Shipper

A new plan for submission of cargo data to U.S. Customs would seriously harm just-in-time inventory systems and trade between Canada and the U.S., according to David Bradley, CEO of the Canadian Trucking Alliance.

The plan, proposed under the U.S. Homeland Security Bill and the U.S. Trade Act, would require the electronic submission of cargo data to U.S. Customs 4 hours before a truck is loaded in Canada for shipment to the U.S., and 24 hours prior to loading a truck in the U.S. destined for Canada.

According to Bradley,"carriers and shippers on both sides of the border are united in the view that these rules if implemented, would cause mayhem within the North American supply chain and inventory management systems. The proposed pre-notification time frames are unthinkable under just-in-time inventory systems."

Bradley says the technology required to implement the proposed system would be "enormously expensive for all carriers, and would be prohibitive for many smaller carriers."

Most importantly, Bradley is concerned that the pre-notification rules, along with other entry/exit measures announced in recent weeks could "scupper the gains made to date under the 30 Point Smart Border Plan."

"It’s been a bad month," he concedes. "We’ve seen the enactment of a new U.S. Safe Explosives Act that will, unless something happens this week, ban Canadian drivers from shipping explosives into the U.S. as of January 24th.

The Transportation Security Administration is proposing to introduce a Transportation Workers Identity Card that may or may not be available to Canadians. And, there are the pending visa requirements for Canadian drivers from certain commonwealth countries."

"We are sympathetic to the very real concerns of the United States on security and the trucking industry has supported the introduction of programs in Canada and the United States, but when do we say "enough"? We are fast reaching the point where the world’s largest trading partnership is being put in serious jeopardy," said Bradley.

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