TWO mandated automated US government
systems are creating roadblocks for forwarders and other regulated
entities, slowing progress and threatening their livelihoods, according
to US Airforwarders Association executive director Brandon Fried."Forwarders on passenger flights primarily depend on the US Transportation Security Administration's
(TSA) Known Shipper Management System (KSMS) to vet new customers and
existing ones who Mr Fried told New York's Air Cargo World.
"In a business continually racing
against the clock to catch flights so as to assure fast delivery of
essential cargo such as life-saving pharmaceuticals, biologicals and
vital factory parts, rapid and reliable shipper vetting is critical.
"An Office of the Inspector General report in 2009 indicated that TSA
officials and the KSMS development contractor knew and informed the
agency that technical problems existed between the intended functional
requirements and the TSA's existing platform.
"However, despite a significant facelift to the KSMS in 2016 and IACMS
(Indirect Air Carrier Management System) last year, technical issues
still linger delaying processing and hampering access to passenger
"Many users contend increased security provided no operational
enhancements and created error messages and slower performance. Response
times and turnarounds are much too slow to meet the demands of today's
expedited supply chains.
"The IACMS and KSMS are lacking in that regard and put forwarders and
the passenger carriers they rely on at a competitive disadvantage. While
the systems effectively achieve their stated goals, trade is moving at
an ever-faster pace and both are acting as anchors.
"The recent surge in the global economy, along with increased air cargo
volumes resulting from the e-commerce megatrend, reminds us that
delivery speed and predictability remain the foundations of our
"Now is the time for the Department of Homeland Security to increase its
investment in more robust KSMS and IACMS platforms that are capable of
addressing current operational issues and preparing for future
security-related data demands. Working together, we can continue to
ensure high levels of security and reduce cycle times."