Inbound Logistics | July 2022

SPELLING IT OUT: AN ACRONYM REFRESHER ACE, or Automated Commercial Environment, is the system through which the trade community reports imports and exports, and the government determines admissibility. FAST, or Free and Secure Trade, is a commercial clearance program for known low-risk shipments entering the United States from Canada and Mexico. C-TPAT, or the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, is a program

A provider of premium transportation solutions, S-2international LLC offers comprehensive services—including cross-border Canada—to a wide variety of industries with ground expediting as well as service-sensitive LTL and truckload.

shore in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, resulting in even tighter bonds in the “North American supply chain.” Cox believes COVID-induced changes have served to fine-tune operations at Polaris and other carriers, and the future of Canada-U.S. cross- border trade is bright. STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS Jennifer Mead, CEO of S-2international LLC, says cross-border trade has been part of the Georgia- based international shipping company’s portfolio since its founding in 2004. A single-source provider of premium transportation solutions, S-2 has its origins in the automobile sector but today provides comprehensive services to a wide variety of industries with ground expediting as well as service-sensitive LTL and truckload. “Cross-border Canada has always been part of our business model,” Mead says. “As a result, we have built our Canadian vendor partnerships as a key business strategy, and our relationships are longstanding.” Capacity is an increasingly challenging issue for shippers. “One thing that we have recognized in the past several years is that there are not a lot of new Canadian expedited trucking partners coming into the market,” Mead says. “This puts a strain on capacity for handling trans-border shipments

on the ground, especially in the expedited sector. “When working with trans-border freight, you need Canadian expertise, she adds. “There are things that you need to know to ensure a smooth transition over the border so as not to impact delivery timing.” Mead cautions those aiming to move cargo across the border to look for providers who can offer certification in the applicable border security programs such as ACE, FAST, C-TPAT, CSA and PIP. ( See acronym refresher sidebar ) EXPEDITING PROCESSES “Using a carrier that has drivers who are FAST approved will help expedite the process of clearing the border,” Mead says. “When using a third party like S-2international, find out about their vetting process for Canadian providers and how they can help facilitate the process.” In emphasizing the importance of knowing and understanding the alphabet soup of border-crossing programs, Mead echoes Kirsten Hillman’s caution that manufacturers must be prepared for their border crossings by keeping compliant with regulatory requirements. Such cooperative approaches to border crossings will not only maintain but also enhance the excellent trade relationship that exists between the United States and its northern neighbor.

through which U.S. Customs and Border

Protection (CBP) works with the trade community to strengthen international supply chains and improve U.S. border security. CSA, or Compliance, Safety, Accountability, is the safety compliance and enforcement program of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that holds motor carriers and drivers accountable for their role in safety. PIP, or Partners in Protection, is a cooperative program between private industry and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) aimed at enhancing border and trade chain security.

184 Inbound Logistics • July 2022

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