By Chris Connell :: July 9, 2021
Perishables shippers not seeing screening delays with CFI.
In 2019, CFI began utilizing canines when TSA permitted them as an additional form of screening along with the technological solutions we already had in place. Our ability to screen more cargo, faster and with less handling meant our customers could continue to move quickly from farms and packing facilities to CFI and then to awaiting aircraft.
July 1st was the deadline for the United States to be in compliance with globally-mandated rules governing air cargo security for international freight moving on airplanes with and without passengers. Thanks to foresight, planning and scheduling, CFI’s perishables shippers have not been impacted by these changes which are adding cost and delays for air cargo shippers at a time when supply chains are anything but fluid.
The change was mandated by the International Civil Aviation Organization, or ICAO, and surrounds how member countries identify shippers tendering freight for shipment by air. First published in 2016, ICAO gave countries a five year window to complete the changes. The Transportation Security Administration has jurisdiction over air cargo in the United States. They also are in charge of the regulations and security programs for air freight forwarders like CFI as well as our airline partners. Between a pandemic, persistent changes in personnel within TSA, an election in November of 2020 which brought new leadership and priorities and differing interpretations between stakeholders, the industry has been left in the dark until the very last minute.
Realizing that a cliff was approaching, CFI recognized early on that we needed to proactively take steps to protect our customers.
That planning and preparation has meant that today, where international belly capacity remains constrained and airport congestion is delaying cargo around the country, CFI customers’ cargo continues to rapidly move through our multi-layered cold chain to the airport and out of the country to buyers around the world.
The most important part of the rule which took effect July 1st was that regardless of passenger plane or freighter, all cargo now needed to be screened equally. Where airlines and ground handlers have struggled under the weight of congested facilities and delays, CFI’s early commitment to canines meant that we built up both the processes and contracted enough hours with our partner to screen all cargo coming into our warehouse for export while maintaining the same receiving, build-up and delivery times, regardless of the choice of carrier and type of plane.
CFI’s proactive and early commitment to readiness has translated into few interruptions for our clients. Selecting a partner who is as committed to planning, partnerships and transparency is critical for perishables shippers who know that any delays in shipping mean degraded quality, smaller profitability and a higher risk of losses through claims.