While restrictions on recreational travel between Canada and the U.S. are in place until September 21, the ban could be extended again due to the rising case load of COVID-19 in the U.S. The movement of produce continues, however Breanna Leininger says there’s been a sharp increase in commercial inspections. She’s the U.S. operations manager for PCB Custom Brokers.
“The drop in leisure traffic has provided partner government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) an opportunity to step up enforcement of commercial imports,” says Leininger. “This is causing delays at the ports of crossing. As the governing bodies for your exports, extra attention must be paid to ensure your shipments meet their regulatory mandates.”
Tips for success:
-- Ensure both your customs broker and carriers have the necessary documents needed to facilitate your release request. Double-check that all necessary data elements are complete and accurate so that if your shipment is inspected, the process can go as smoothly as possible.
-- After your carrier loads, ensure that the amount of goods listed on the customs documentation matches what was loaded on the carrier. Often when a load is short shipped, the documentation is not updated and growers are paying for unnecessary duty and tax.
-- Account for the delays with your carriers and ensure their refrigeration equipment can accommodate the extra time they will likely spend at the port.
Prepare for transportation fluctuations. It’s not uncommon for carriers to experience sharp increases in demand or decline in rates with excess capacity, as a result of an economic situation.
At the onset of the pandemic, some freight lanes experienced a decreased capacity. Although this is not currently the case, says Leininger, the uncertainty of the pandemic’s trajectory makes it prudent to prepare for similar outcomes.
-- When booking carriers, ensure that the drivers’ hours allow for the anticipated delays at the port.
-- Make sure that your chosen transportation providers are offering updates on any delays
Source: PCB Custom Brokers