How to Meet Global Shipment Compliance Challenges

Q: What role does technology play in meeting today’s challenges of global shipment compliance?

A: Today’s complexities in managing export and import shipments are evident. When U.S. Customs announced the requirement of Sea AMS filing, which is also known as the 24-Hour Rule, it started a wave of technology enhancements throughout the globe requiring all ocean carriers and NVOCCs shipping goods to the United States to provide key shipment data. Since the initial requirement by U.S. Customs, many countries have adopted similar requirements.

International shipment operation and documentation managers and staff now face the challenge within their existing trade management system to complete and manage export shipments in the United States by confirming the automated export system (AES) ITN has been received for export shipments that meet AES filing requirements. The operations and documentation managers and staff must also determine if there are shipment compliance requirements at the ultimate destination and/or transshipment country. These export and import shipment compliance requirements will require trade management systems to be configured or enhanced to provide proper notification to the documentation staff member without disrupting the documentation process.

Q: How has technology assisted in shipment visibility through the shipment supply chain cycle?

A: Consumers are able to track their packages from the time the package is picked up at the retailer’s warehouse all the way through delivery. The real-time tracking is available from major carriers because of cost-effective advanced data capture devices that transmit package details.

As shippers, consignees, freight forwarders and other parties related to a specific shipment track their goods in much larger containers, there seems to be a "blind spot" where a container may disappear from tracking. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of a global tracking infrastructure. Freight forwarders and carriers may use low-cost third-party companies to pick up or deliver containers or packages. These third-party companies may lack GPS tracking capabilities on their vehicles and if they have GPS tracking capabilities, they lack the ability to transmit GPS coordinates.

A possible solution is to provide a form of Cargo Intelligence that utilizes all possible forms of shipment data capture functions. Most small to very large freight forwarders and mid-sized to Fortune 500 shippers utilize electronic booking requests and shipping instructions to transmit shipment details to the carrier or NVOCC directly or via portals such as GT Nexus, Inttra, Descartes Network and SITA. In turn, the carriers or portals provide shipment tracking details back to the freight forwarder, shippers or consignees. The remaining chain of custody events through the supply chain shipment cycle would need to be accounted for by advanced data capture devices such as GPS, RTLS and Internet of Things while shipment is in transmit. For those shipments stuck in Customs, an advanced trade management system with direct connections with Customs agencies throughout the globe can provide real-time disposition (status) events back to shippers and consignees.

A key success story would be to provide a complete shipment visibility and chain of custody solution through the supply chain by harnessing all possible shipment and data capture processes and integrating into one unified solution.

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