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Logistics
Tough US air cargo security slows supply chain flows
Date:2018-07-03 Readers:
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 flights.

"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 industry.

"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."
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