Commentary

Is Loyalty Holding You Back?

As an executive with years of experience in Customs Brokerage, Logistics, and International trade I’ve seen many changes in our industry.  Changes that have directly affected my important clients.  The Mod Act back in 1993, was the first major change, which put all liability for imports directly on the importer. The importer is now directly responsible for everything (i.e. record keeping, classification, valuation, country of origin marking) that their broker transmits to U.S. Customs on their behalf.  The second major change was the Importer Security Filing requiring entry level data elements 24 hours prior to loading on the vessel for U.S. ocean imports.  Both of these changes are enforceable with large penalties.

The next big change is the modernization of ACE.  ACE will allow for enhanced security and quicker releases through a streamlined approach to the Customs process. It will unify manifest, security filing, and entry so that data elements do not need to be duplicated.  The new approach will link to all participating government agencies and provide a single window of visibility to those agencies for transparency of cargo and process.  ACE will allow our clients who are on their own ACH to take advantage of Periodic Monthly Statement whereby they can make twelve (12) duty payments to Customs per year verses hundreds or thousands of payments to their broker.  These duty payments happen in the month following entry, creating a cash flow incentive to our clients as well.

customer-loyalty

Leading brokers like Scarbrough International, Ltd. have already converted to all available ACE modules.  Most of our competitors however have not yet converted and are not yet providing these advantages to their clients.  When I ask the question, “Why are you doing business with a competitor?” to these prospective companies, I’m often provided the answer of “I’ve been with my broker for many years.”

This response of “Loyalty” is admirable.  It’s one that I personally have a high respect for as Scarbrough International still has its very first client.  Yes, a client for 30 years.  The difference however, is that Scarbrough is always seeking to participate and bring the latest technology, capabilities and advantages to our clients.  If you are doing business with a logistics firm or Customs broker that isn’t advertising the latest capabilities, transforming their business model and investing to meet their clients’ changing needs then are they being loyal to you?  So, “Is loyalty holding you back?”

I’d welcome the opportunity to help you advance, enhance and modernize your supply chain.

Kevin Ekstrand LCB, CCS  |   Scarbrough International

PH: 816-584-2414  |   EM: kekstrand@scarbrough-intl.com