Trucking Alliance Tells Commons Committee How Industry Being Hit by Economic Conditions (Issue 2, June 2007)
–ůŮŮÍŗˇ ‚ŚūŮŤˇ

ACE is here

DorogaRoad: What is ACE?

Susan Leblanc, Crimson Logic Account Executive.
It is a risk assessment for cargo going into the US that has been put in place as a result of 9/11. Soon after PAPS became widely used; PAPS was a stepping stone for ACE implementation. Now with ACE system in place, it allows carriers to send all information to the border electronically instead of just sending it to the broker.
Although from some carriers prospective it is sometimes more of a pain. Others really like it, because there is no need to scan PAPS stickers when they go across the border therefore speeding up the process. On the other hand it also adds some work for dispatchers since they have to enter data ahead of time into the system.

As ACE implementation is extending across US/Canada and US/Mexico borders
DorogaRoad: What are the other benefits of ACE for the carriers, that have not been mentioned yet?

James May, Crimson Logic Business Development Manager.
It cleans up information that is scribbled by the driver which is usually not legible. When you have information organized electronically, you can do all kinds of things with it, such as risk assessment prepared by the government. I think it also cleans carrierís internal processes. That data can be used on statistical reporting and planning on the carrierís side as well.

DorogaRoad: What should carriers do to be ACE compliant?

Susan Leblanc, Crimson Logic Account Executive.
Well, there are a number of alternatives. Of course, there is the free government portal. Smaller carriers usually decide to go through that route. At the end of the day we see that people that have chosen that route often come to us. Mainly because they find out that there is no 24/7 support, they do not have the capability of having shipment information. For example an independent owner operator picks up a shipment at two or three oíclock in the morning or on the weekend. They do not have shipment information until actually pulling up to the dock to receive it. There is no access to the computer; they do not have wireless connectivity or a laptop in their vehicle. Therefore, the only alternative is a fax type solution that we are offering. They come to us for that. It is one aspect of it, but on the other hand, the reason they need this type of service in terms of the ACE product line which is web based application, is because it is a lot easier versus what is offered by the government. We have simplified it, and made it much more user friendly by adding templates. If the carrier is doing the same runs weekly, they can pull up an existing e-manifest, and after making necessary changes they can send it back in. The governmentís site does not offer this type of service. There are different reasons as to why carriers come to us, largely because of the 24 by 7 support, as well as the fax service system. It simply makes their job much easier.
Driver may be stuck at the border even if the e-manifest has been accepted. He might have an issue with customs officer, so we work with the driver and border officials to smooth the process of getting him across. We have different port of entry who insisted that the driverís birthday has to be on a cover sheet. This however is not part of the mandatory requirements. In case of these events we have our representatives available to clear things up, and ensure that it does not happen in the future. That is the value of having us.

James May, Crimson Logic Business Development Manager.
Another important aspect is that we can set up a carrier in one day. There still should not be a reason to panic.

DorogaRoad: When the carrier becomes your customer, how do you both manage to share the responsibility for smooth shipments across the border?

James May, Crimson Logic Business Development Manager.
Our fax service is a lot more hands on, this is where we take control of getting the message to customs successfully transmitted by calling the driver to inform him that is has successfully taken place. Our web integration option is more of a tool that we put in the hands of the user. We allow them to bridge that connection to customs, but in such a way that they are taking ownership of the data and we simply give them the tool. Our support is always available, if they have problems or even questions such as interpreting response coming back from the US customs (some of their responses are still kind of cryptic) we are here to help with the learning curve.
Therefore, with fax service carriers are outsourcing everything to us; they have nothing to do with ACE. They simply sign up with us and fax the documents to us instead of sending it to the customs broker, so with this type of service there is no change in the process for the carrier. As oppose to the web or integration option where somebody in dispatch is taking the ownership of the data and submitting it to customs.

DorogaRoad: How ACE implementation reflected on PAPS shipments? How does it work now?

Susan Leblanc, Crimson Logic Account Executive.
There is a field on e-manifest called SCN Ė shipment control number. For all intents and purposes, that PAPS number becomes a shipment control number. When using PAPS the driver puts a PAPS sticker on the commercial invoice, so when he pulls to the booth that is what he hands over to the customs official. At this point, what is taking place is customs officer physically cross referencing the data on a commercial invoice and the bill of lading to the information that the broker provided. Since the brokersí responsibility is really for the duties, taxes and tariffs for the goods going across. If the information does not match it becomes a problem and the truck gets held.
Once you start e-manifesting that shipment control number is really your PAPS reference number that you have placed on that invoice. When the truck that has a transponder pulls up at the border the matching information process has already taken place and the driver can then proceed without showing any paperwork.

DorogaRoad: Will the driver present nothing to the customs official?

Susan Leblanc, Crimson Logic Account Executive.
It will really depend. In terms of paperwork, there is a set of guidelines that have been published. I would recommend having the cover sheet that identifies that the e-manifest has been accepted. There are guidelines that indicate what the cover sheet should look like. The carrier still has to carry the actual paperwork. If the driver gets pulled over when he is on route in the States he still has to prove what the truck contains.

DorogaRoad: How is ACE implementation reflected on the line release, BRASS shipments? How does it work now?

James May, Crimson Logic Business Development Manager.
Whether it is PAPS or BRASS, before youíve had a manifest. Now you have to re-create that manifest and put it in electronic format. Under the BRASS program in the past when creating a manifest, you had to put C-4 sticker on from the shipper, today instead of doing that you just have to re-create this information including that C-4 barcode in the ACE manifest. Other than that, the same process is in effect. Before the ACE program the officer at the port actually had to carry the paperwork over to the broker after the truck had crossed the border. There is no longer a need for that under the ACE program. The carrier needs to file it or fax it directly to the customs broker, the officer is not going to do it any more. I think it is all in line with customs intention to get people off of the BRASS program. They want to make it more difficult to enter that program such as requiring for the drivers to have a FAST card.

DorogaRoad: I have a question from one of your customers. The question is what is the proper way of entering the data of multilane release shipment, when there are separate release entry for the commodity, packaging and pallets?

James May, Crimson Logic Business Development Manager.
He can create multiple lines within one shipment. If he has one line of pieces, one hundred boxes, number of skids etc. He just needs to add another line by pressing Insert Next button at the bottom of the page.

Susan Leblanc, Crimson Logic Account Executive.
Or maybe he should come to us for more training. The training is included in our service offerings as part of the start up which is also very important, because what we found at CBP site is that they just given out a training disk. Iíve heard people are spending up to four hours to go through those documentations, meanwhile when you register with us, you will receive e-mails informing you as to when the training is taking place. Whether you need to seat more than once, or if you need to cross train it is all included in the service offering.

James May, Crimson Logic Business Development Manager.
We have three to four trainings per week including Saturdays as well. The Saturday training is actually quite popular with the carriers. Everybody is so busy working during the week, the Saturday training is available for those individuals. You can also login to a web site from your home or office computer and have the training completed over the phone.

DorogaRoad: There are a number of companies offering similar service to the trucking industry. What is special about Crimson Logic?

James May, Crimson Logic Business Development Manager.
Fist and foremost much credit should be given to our customer service, our representatives are very knowledgeable. We were the first company in Canada to be credited with ACE, we are one or two years ahead of the competition. ACE is a global company with over twenty years of experience in data messaging. We carry out applications all over the world, not only in Canada and in the US but also in the Panama Canal, Singapore etc. We do have a lot of expertise in this field.

DorogaRoad: What are your service costs?

James May, Crimson Logic Business Development Manager.
I think we do have very competitive pricing; it is very affordable to carriers. It is not hindering for them to get on and use our service. The benefits include time savings and time efficiency achieved by using our product.

DorogaRoad: Can you give me some numbers?

Susan Leblanc, Crimson Logic Account Executive.
You will find, we are not the cheapest out there, but we are not the most expensive. Often you will find a company offering, say a fax service, perhaps at a cheaper rate, however they are not a certified provider. That is a key issue. They are not going to receive support that we have through CBP, and secondly - they do not have 24 by 7 customer assistance. In terms of pricing, what you have to do is call us.

As ACE implementation is extending across US/Canada and US/Mexico borders, this topic remains hot for the carriers. Phase 1 ACE enforcement went into effect at Michigan and New-York border crossings effective May 24th 2007. DorogaRoad publishing an interview with the specialists from Crimson Logic, company that helps carriers to become an ACE compliant.