Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Smooth First Week for U.S. Air Cargo Scanning

(International Freighting Weekly – Mike King)

The implementation of 100% screening of bellyhold cargo on domestic and U.S. outbound international flights has progressed smoothly through its first week, according to shippers and forwarders.

Jim Conway, Executive Director of the Express Delivery and Logistics Association (XLA), says its members have not reported any significant bottlenecks at hub airports. “The TSA (U.S. Transportation Security Administration) has done an excellent job of communicating throughout the industry leading up to the deadline, so there were no surprises regarding the principle that ‘if it’s not screened it does not get on the plane’.” Conway warns, however, that shippers need to keep communication lines open with their expeditors, especially in the early weeks as the system beds in.

DHL’s Global Forwarding division says the new rules, which came into force on 1 August, have not caused any supply chain strains. This is with the exception of a limited number of documentation issues, mostly around certificate wording or chain of custody requirement interpretations. “These were resolved quickly and did not result in any cargo delays,” says a spokesman.

“One item that has come up several times this week is the subject of cargo that can be rendered unusable if it is x-rayed or opened,” he adds. “We have been recommending to our shippers that they label any of these types of commodities with a warning, so it is obvious to everyone in the supply chain that the product can be harmed by exposure to x-rays, or if they’re removed from a ‘clean room’ type of packaging. Certainly, for better control over their own products, it is in the best interests of the shippers to look seriously at joining the Certified Cargo Screening Programme (CCSP).” Read more here.