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Talking Freight

Border Operations

April 21, 2004 Talking Freight Transcript

Operator:

Ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for standing by. Welcome to the border operations conference call. During the presentation, all participants will be in a listen-only mode. Afterwards, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. At that time, if you have a question, please press the 1, followed by the 4 on your telephone. I would like to turn the conference over to Jennifer Seplow.

Jennifer Seplow:

Good afternoon or good morning to those of you on the west. Welcome to the talking freight seminar series. My name is Jennifer Seplow, and I will moderate today's seminar. Today's topic is border operations. Please be advised that today's seminar is being recorded. Today we have two speakers. Robert Watt of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Jill Hochman of Federal Highway Administration Office of Interstate and Border Planning.

Robert Watt is the branch chief cargo release, office of field operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He is responsible for oversight of cargo release issues including FAST operations on both the northern and southern border. He was previously the chief inspector at the port of savannah, Georgia, and has held various Customs positions in Miami, Orlando, Bahamas, and Washington, DC. He attended college at John Jay College of Criminal Jjustice and received a bachelor of science degree in political science. He also graduated from George Mason University with a masters degree in international commerce and policy.. He has recently completed an intensive leadership development program at Columbia University.

Jill Hochman is director, Office of Interstate and Border Planning. She directs efforts to advance interstate and border transportation planning programs at the state regional national and international levels. Her office develops and implements programs to encourage safety conscious planning, develops and coordinates efforts to improve border planning, approves changes to the national highway system, oversees and coordinates research for the planning, environment and realty, and administers the $140 million corridors and borders grants programs. She joined the Federal Highway Administration in 1987 and was shortly thereafter named chief of the driver standards division. In this position, she developed regulations regarding truck and bus driver safety and implemented the commercial driver's license program. She then became chief of the information analysis division in 1994. In this position she created a well-respected analytical staff to understand and explain motor carrier safety information and results and she produced the first-ever national truck and bus safety summit. In 1996, she became the director of the office of planning and customer liaison for motor carriers. In this position, she directed staff in legislative and policy development, strategic planning and training for motor carrier safety. This included communications, outreach, resource allocation, overseeing the drug interdiction and assistance program, and building partnerships created at the truck and bus safety summit. In 1999 she became the director of the office of interstate and statewide programs. She led efforts to revise statewide planning regulations, developed assistance for states to apply those regulations, initiated the rural planning capacity building program, and developed reports and new requirements for state and local consultation. Before joining the Federal Highway Administration, Ms. Hochman held a variety of positions with different USDOT agencies, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Federal Railroad Administration, and in the Office of Budget and Programs for the Office of the Secretary. She worked on many issues including creation of the Washington Regional Airports Authority, redevelopment of Union Station, sunset of the Civil Aeronautics Board, and the sale of Conrail. Jill has a degree in economics from the University of Maryland. She has received numerous performance and honor awards including the secretary's award for meritorious achievement, the Federal Highway Administrators' award for superior service, and the hammer award for her work with the network of employees for traffic safety.

I'd like to go over a few logistical details prior to starting the seminar. Today's seminar will last 90 minutes, with 60 minutes allocated for the speakers, and the final 30 minutes for audience question and answer. The operator will give you instructions on how to ask a question over the phone during the q&a period. However, if during the presentations you think of a question, you can type it into the smaller text box underneath the chat area on the lower right side of your screen. Please make sure you are typing in the thin text box and not the large white area. Presenters will be unable to answer your questions during their presentations, but I will use some of the questions typed into the chat box to start off the question-and-answer session in the last half hour of the seminar. Those questions that are not answered will be posted to the freight planning listserv. The listserv is an e-mail list and is a great forum for the distribution where you can post questions to find out what other subscribers have learned in the area of freight if you have not already joined the listserv, the web address on your screen. If at any time you would like to zoom in on the slide that is showing on your screen, you can click on the zoom icon at the top of your screen. It looks like a magnifying glass with a plus sign in it.

Finally, I would like to remind you that this session is being recorded. A file containing the audio and the visual portion of this seminar will be posted to the Talking Freight Web site in the next day or so. To access the recorded seminar, please visit Talkingfreight.webex.com and click on the "recorded events" link on the left side of the page and then choose the session you'd like to view. Recorded files are available for viewing/listening purposes only and cannot be saved to your own computer. We encourage you to direct others in your office who may have not been able to attend this seminar to access the recorded seminar.

The PowerPoint presentations used during the seminar will be available within the next few days as well. I will also let you know when these are available. In addition, a written transcript will be available as well.

So it is now a little after 1:00. And I see that we have -- many people have joined in. So I think we'll begin with today's seminar on border operations. Our first presentation of the day will be that of Bobby Watt of the U.S. Bureau of cCustoms and Border Protection.

Robert Watt:

Thank you, Jennifer. It's a pleasure and honor for me to be here today. I will talk to you about the -- basically about the FAST program, which is the free and secure trade program and the partnership against terrorism. Basically, to give you an idea of FAST is coordinate processing between Canada, United States, and Mexico for the export of clearance of low-risk goods. The FAST's most important benefit is increased border security. This is something we all want and are all striving for. FAST enables us to prescreen carriers, truck drivers and drivers. This enables us to have a reduction. Second trade facilitation. Establishment of FAST lanes will reduce the number of FAST participants, decrease FAST truck processing times, provide a predictability in FAST border time processing, and reduce cost in FAST carriers. Basically, FAST presents a fundamental change on the way business is conducted on the northern and southern border. The days of unprepared carriers and drivers showing up without a manifest or kneeling on the floors of the cabs to pick up the $5 are hopefully over. It's not going to happen overnight, but hopefully it's coming. As we speak, each director is working together with the bridge and highway authorities to establish unimpeded highways. So far to date, we have FAST lane at the blue water bridge, which is working tremendously. That's been in operation since January 5th 2004. Participation, basically has doubled in the couple of months that it's been open. Bridges already are extremely happy with it, as well as Customs and border protection. We also have a FAST lane working great at the BOTA bridge in el paso. And soon there will be a FAST lane at the Ysleta bridge in el paso. Hoping to have that second FAST lane in another month or so. The two commissioners, Commissioner Bonner, a CBP Commissioner and Commissioner of Mexico Customs met in Laredo. Last Sunday, we just officially opened up a FAST lane in New York. These are opening. We're looking to go to the ambassador bridge. Look out to go out -- we have a lot of FAST lanes coming in the near future.

FAST lane eligibility. There are four basic components of FAST. The importer must participate in C-TPAT. That, of courses, is the Customs Trade Partnership Again Terrorism. We'll discuss that later and what you need to become C-TPAT. Besides the import of the carrier must also participate in the FAST C-TPAT program. Drivers must obtain driver's cards. We'll go over in a little while on how they obtain the cards and all the benefits for the drivers for carrying these FAST cards. There's also two other additional requirements on the southern border. The manufacturer must also be C-TPAT. And there's also a high-security seal requirement. And eventually, we will be going, high security, we'll discuss that later in the presentation, meaning an electronic seal.

Let's talk about the organization of the Customs trade partnership, the C-TPAT. At the symposium, the commissioner of Customs challenged Customs in the community to develop a partnership program to inn hans facility. Members working with Customs and now CBP in a development of security recommending as for the various traffic modalities. And in detroit, in april 2002, C-TPAT was introduced to the public and our charter C-TPAT members were recognized. For those familiar with the carrier initiative program, you'll see many similar practices in the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. Essentially, C-TPAT is Customs and industry leaders working together to ensure national security. How do we accomplish this goal? We want to ensure the supply, the security of the supply chain. By sharing of ideas, knowledge, and practices and facilitating movement of legitimate trade across our borders. Basically, the manufacturer has to secure his supply chain. He gives his goods to a supply carrier. They made sure they secured their supply chains. Carrier brings it across the border. With a driver that has a FAST card.

How do you become a C-TPAT member? Basically you submit a C-TPAT agreement and a company security profile to headquarters or to the border facility or division of C-TPAT division. MOU is in agreement to voluntary participate in C-TPAT. The importer is committing to make every effort to ensure a secure supply chain by following and implementing as many of the supply chain security recommendations as possible. Basically, you can get all of this information on C-TPAT and FAST on our website, which is www.cbp.gov. Complete a comprehensive self-assessment of their security practices covering Procedural, Conveyance and Physical Security, Access Controls, Manifest Procedures, Personal Security, and Training, This is referred to as the Security Questionnaire or Security Profile. The requirements for this security profile can be found at the C-TPAT web site. Just when you get to cbp.gov, just dial in C-TPAT or FAST in the search part.

For Sections A & B of the U.S. FAST/C-TPAT Carrier application purposes, be sure you have your U.S. ID#s and they are properly registered with the appropriate agencies. First, we require a DOT number. If you don't have an application, an application may be made to USDOT Form MCS-150, via www.usdotnumberregistration.com. Having a valid and properly registered SCAC code is required to participate in FAST for U.S. This is a two-part process. First, the carrier must be registered and receive a SCAC code for the national motor freight traffic association. You'll see how to get that SCAC code if you don't already have one. It is up on your -- on the screen right now. Second, the carrier is responsible for registering the SCAC code with Customs by faxing their letter of notification to 703-921-7173. This is critical to receive the FAST lane processing by the Prearrival Processing System or PAPS. We'll discuss PAPS in detail later on in the presentation. PAPS is basically one of the cargo release mechanisms for FAST.

All FAST participants. All FAST carriers will receive a truck transponder which is basically truck specific. Basically truck specific is part of the FAST processing in St. Albans. They receive the request from carriers for transponders. In doing so, they will capture the VIN and license plate number associated with each transponder. Very recently, we have given that task over to Melon Bank, who is now issuing transponders for us. We will give Melon Bank the carrier's information. Melon Bank will send the transponders out to the carriers. Melon Bank is also in the process of doing a portal website so in case a truck breaks a windshield and needs a new transponder, they can go in and fill out the information on the web. It will be sent right to Customs. Customs will check the information. Give it to Melon Bank. And within the next day, they should have a new transponder on that truck. Basically, we want to -- just because they don't have a transponder, we want to get it back in operation as soon as possible. Also, with these transponders that are on the truck, what happens is -- and I'll go into further detail on this when we get to PAPS. Basically, all of the information, as that truck is pulling up to the booth will be transported into the inspector's booth. The transponder on the truck will transmit all the information to the inspector. And the inspector knows pretty much by the time the truck is there, knows whether he's going to release it or send it to secondary. There's no typing in or anything like that. So it reduces the wait time at the border.

We're also looking into other uses for these transponders. Within the next year. I think in 2005, the FAST participants, it will be a user fee transponder. And what we mean by that is they'll get the regular decals this year just as they always do for the regular user fee of transponders. But also the transponder will have all the information for that carrier on the thing. So it will come up and flash up as being a paid user fee. For the next year, we're looking at those transponders for -- instead of giving out the decals, everyone will get a transponder. In addition to that, if someone didn't want to pay the whole user fee, say it's $100 because they only cross the border two or three times a year, what we could have is a decorated account. Kind of like on the toll bridges. Where these could be used. You could have $25 in the bank, let's say, and each time you pass, it's $5. And you'll get a statement saying your truck crossed here. So we could come up with a lot of different uses for these transponders. And that's one of the ways we are looking to do in the future. The transponders. And the intent is to stand in every truck lane. Right now, we have currently 4 lanes that are FAST operational. It's at seven ports. On the northern -- on the southern border. And 11 ports on the northern border for a total of 94 lanes. 52 lanes on the southern border. 42 lanes on the northern border.

The primary commercial truck lane. These are installed at all FAST truck lanes at all of the locations. Basically, they read the truck transponder and driver cost. And I'll talk a little bit more about the driver cost. But these readers read transponders as the truck is pulling in. And also the driver -- that the driver is required to have to complete the FAST traction. He has a little chip inside that will read all of his information as he pulls up on the transponder. And again, the biggest benefit of FAST is the dedicated FAST lanes. Like I said, on the blue water bridge in Port Huron, sometimes -- there's never any wait in the FAST lane. They're up to 11% of the traffic and you never have a wait time. All in all, we got the statistics from the blue water bridge. Their traffic has been up. Their wait times have just decreased. And basically, there is no wait time at all for FAST participants. Just the minute or so it takes to cross the border. They also have the dedicated lane at Port Huron that goes all the way out into the Canadian highway.

Next is a FAST commercial driver. To qualify, you must be -- the driver must qualify if he's a citizen or permanent resident of U.S., Canada, or Mexico, it must be admissible to Canada or U.S. under applicable immigration laws. It must be over 18 years of age. They must be in possession of a valid driver's license and are of good character. Basically know how these FAST cards are beneficial to these inspectors. If a driver comes up and he has a FAST card, the inspectors know that for the most part, he has no serious criminal record whatsoever. And even if the driver prior to our -- if the driver had committed a crime, these are updated every day. So if a driver did commit a serious crime, the next time he comes up through Customs, he'll be sent to secondary and his FAST card will be taken away from him. So basically what this does is ensure the Customs inspector at the border that this -- basically this driver is of good, moral character. Before it -- the FAST driver card applicants is run through essential to determine the following. Essential from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Whether the driver possesses a valid driver's license. Whether it is a hazardous material endorsement. And also gives us a history of the driver's potential moving violations.

The driver will send his application to the FAST process in St. Albans Vermont. On the northern border it is reviewed. Our guys in St. Albans will then do a vetting process on all the applications. Once the applications are approved, they'll be sent a letter back to the driver, saying you're approved to come into a driver enrollment center. Basically seven on the southern border. Strategically located in all the major ports and 11 driver enrollment centers on the northern border this. It is basically where the driver will come to pick up their card, to get their card printed to them. It will also have to go through a few formalities. FAST enrollment database to locate the applicant. Then the use of information to assist in the interview. Well, basically, we'll have a list of all the information that that driver had put on his application. They do an interview of the driver. They do the digital fingerprints, which are then sent to the FBI. They'll do a digital photo. And if everything comes back okay, the card is issued. If the fingerprints come back the next day and say, hey, this ain't the person he says he is, which has happened on occasion, then the card is deactivated in the system. And the next time he comes through, he is sent to secondary and his FAST card is taken away. On the FAST cards, basically, it's all back information. If a driver loses his card and some forger who is pretty good replaces the picture, it doesn't matter because of his transponder in that card. When he comes up, that card's picture pops up on the computer from the inspector right in the booth. So not only do you have a picture of the card, you compare it to the driver in the truck. Then you compare it to what is in the inspector's computers. So you have a three-way match. All three, of course, have to match. And it's a good security practice. Again, because you basically can't forge the card because it's all back-end information. On or about -- okay. We just went over this slide. This is what the FAST I.D. card looks like. It's a digital photo. Has all the driver information on the card. It has the radio frequency identification number. The date of birth, citizenship, whether it's U.S., Canada, or Mexico. The card will be valid for a maximum of five years, based upon the underlying immigration status. For example, if a driver obtains an INS waiver, the card may only be activated for six months to a year. It contains a chip with the unique identification number that will be read by identification readers at all FAST truck lanes. The beauty of this system is it's all back-end loaded information. That will give you a -- next slide gives you a closeup of the card. At the primary truck booth. This information is displayed on Customs computer screen. Very high-resolution digital photo. Name, gender, date of birth, citizenship and other information comes up on the inspector's computer screen, every time he holds the card up to the transponder reader. So as the truck pulls off, you see the FAST transponder on the bottom. The one that says FAST express. That's basically the transponder there. On top of that is a card. It's read by one reader. As the truck pulls off, it reads the FAST card and the transponder. So it tells you the driver is okay. This is what the shipment in the truck is carrying, this is what they have. It's all run through our systems prior to arrival at the border. And it's good to go after that. Sometimes, if we see a problem, it might be sent to secondary. But this information is done within seconds.

FAST release systems, which is, they have two PAPS, which we discussed a little bit about before. And modified NCAP. So if the Importer of the goods is C-TPAT approved, the carrier FAST approved and the driver in possession of a valid FAST Commercial Driver Card the next step is how can I participate in FAST lane processing. Currently there are two release systems for you to use in the FAST lanes: modified NCAP and PAPS. A Federal Register notice was published on Dec 16th identifying these release systems for FAST processing.

For those companies using FAST; the Importer must be C- TPAT approved, the Carrier must be FAST approved and all Drivers must have valid FAST Commercial Driver cards

In addition, of course, on the Mexican border, they must have a -- there is a requirement and the manufacturer must also be C-TPAT approved. The truck must have a user-fee decal. And remember, this is expedited clearance. Can't be tying up a FAST lane because some driver is looking for the $5. So all FAST participants must have a user fee decal.

FAST NCAP. This is an electronic cargo release system and is used by the three major automotive companies. It is currently operational at Detroit, Port Huron, Buffalo. And recently we opened it up to Laredo. This works great for them. It's actually the first part of the ace release. This is a totally automated paperless importer, account-based system. All conveyance and goods information is filed electronically on a prearrival basis. It allows for multiple shipments on the same truck to be cleared at primary. Example, a GM truck load gets released at the primary truck lanes in a matter of seconds. As of right now, only those three companies are using the NCAP method to full electronics release. Everybody else in FAST is using PAPS, which is the prearrival processing system. And whether they use NCAP, modified NCAP, or PAPS, this is -- as far as Customs and Border Protection goes, this is what we need. We need the information beforehand so we can make the information long before the truck arrives at the border. This is imperative for us. The prearrival was developed in Port of Buffalo in 1996. And a true partnership with the international trade community. At that time, they performed very detailed processing, mapping and discovered that they were parking 220,000 trucks each year in its secondary lot at the Peace Bridge and Lewiston Bridge for paperwork processing. The truck sat there for minutes to hours for the paperwork shuffle. U.S. Customs had no intention of examining these trucks. To have the entry information submitted on a prearrival basis when the goods were still in Canada. Had the U.S. broker a file entry in BCS, go through the ACF targeting and then when the truck goes through the primary, the they make the determination the secondary. They put together the northern Customs border association, ATA, CTA, major carriers in the Peace Bridge, public bridge authority. As a result, they developed the PAPS bar code that provided the necessary link between the electronic entry and the paper manifest. In 2003, they significantly expanded FAST processing by allowing for FAST relief of merchandise using the prearrival processing system. If we didn't do that, right now, it would only be the car companies using FAST.

The addition of PAPS is a FAST cargo release method will require some programming changes in the Border Cargo Selectivity (BCS) module prior to implementation. And this is how it works. This is what the bar code looks like. We have an actual bar code label designed after ATA and CTA. The bar code you'll see there as the SCAC code. The PRO number, which is unique. And also the check digit at the end. There's also a block filer code. This is a carrier-based system. A Customs broker cannot use SCAC codes for PAPS. We designed it as a carrier system to provide the only electronic means for us to identify the trucking company. It's also why we carried the SCAC codes as part of the highway approval process. In our automated systems we also roadway standard carrier alpha codes that are approved for target purposes. BCS will recognize both the importer as FAST approved, enabling them to use FAST lanes and benefiting from reduced ATS rule scoring. Provided, of course, that the driver has a FAST card. How PAPS works, they have to fax or EDI the commercial invoices and other pertinent documents. They combine with the PAPS bar code data in the automated commercial system or ACS. At the border, the Customs inspector wands the bar code and reviews the results from selectivity processing. In this way, the director will make an immediate decision whether to release or send the truck on to secondary. Future technology deployment right now at the port of Laredo, we just opened a FAST lane at Laredo. I believe itss Sony Corporation is testing ECO for us. It is currently being evaluated on that E-Seal is currently being evaluated in Laredo is compatible with the commercial vehicle information system and networks. Or pronounced "cvision" (CVSN). It promotes for monetary or commercial vehicles across interstate borders and enhances communications. This is at the very beginning -- just set the testing stage. We had problems with it. Laredo, we're coming up to phase 2. In the beginning, the software worked great on these E-Seals. But inside the containers, a lot of it fell down, I guess because of all of the rough roads in Mexico and the trucks bouncing around. A lot of these had fallen down, producing like a false positive. But we use the same -- the same technology that the State DOTs were. So they would be able to, in the future, of course after discussion or whatever, will be able to use the same technology to monitor a truck as it goes through the United States. I know in CBP, we're also responsible for agricultural goods. A lot of these goods have to go through a certain corridor. They could be monitored as they go through. Eventually will be allowed to go through FAST. We could monitor inbound with these E-Seals. E-Seal has a lot of -- a lot of possible applications. Again, we're just at the testing stage. We're thinking about moving another test to the port of El Paso. Because at the BOTA Bridge, we have a lot of traffic, over 230 trucks a day, using FAST. We're looking to have the E-Seal expanded down there. We're having the second wave of E-Seal, the more advanced technology, one that will hold up better to the Mexican roads, that should be coming to El Paso. So we have a lot of possibilities with this new E-Seal technology. FAST phone numbers. You see the phone numbers there. Canadian processing center. They have an 800 number for anybody on the northern border. Anybody can get me at 202-927-0300. Our website, of course, has a lot of information. www.cbp.gov. And for driver queries, the FAST processing center in St. Albans. You have the number on the screen there as well. I'd like to thank you. And after the second presentation, we'll be taking any questions that you may have for FAST, C-TPAT or anything we discussed during the presentation. Thank you.

J. Seplow:

Thank you, Bobby, for a very interesting presentation. Again, if anybody does think of any questions during these presentations, please feel free to post them to the chat area. We'll now go into the presentation of Jill Hochman of the Federal Highway Administration. And Jill, you can begin when you're ready.

Jill Hochman:

Okay. I'm actually going to hold this. So is that going to cause a problem? >> no. >> okay. I want to, also, for those of you connected out by the wire, there are about 10 or 12 folks in the room. And I wanted to be able to turn so I could face them as well, so I could at least see if I was making any sense. Because I can't tell from you all. But I thank you very much for giving me some of your time this afternoon to talk about freight and how it connects to the work we're doing. And particularly borders. I'm going to talk a little bit about why planned borders are important. What we in FHWA are trying to do about that and how to make things better. And what we think the future might bring. Or maybe what we have no clue the future might bring. So first of all, why are our borders important. And I want to clarify, I want to focus specifically today. And it's not only important to FHWA, but to all of us for a variety of reasons. First, we have a lot of freight that passes through our land borders. And I apologize for any of you who may have heard this before. But, in fact, Canada is the United States' number one trading partner. And Mexico is our number 2. What that translates to is that almost 150 billion dollars of exports float from Canada into the United States. I'm sorry, from the U.S. into Canada in the year 2002. And 200 billion from Canada into the U.S.. Did I have that backwards? I'm sorry. In 2002. With Mexico it's $90 billion in exports and $125 billion in imports. Not only is that a lot of trade, but it represents a lot for the freight community as well as for all of us just in consuming our everyday products. There is also a lot of travel across our land borders. BTS, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, indicates to us that about 300 million cross border visits were recorded between the U.S. and Canada and the U.S. and Mexico in 1999. That's a lot of people going back and forth. They go back and forth for a variety of reasons. Not just tourism which we often think of. But for shopping, visiting relatives and family members. Or access to health care. And very, very frequently for employment purposes. So taken together, this shows us that the trade and the travel really represent a critical part of the U.S. economy in particular when you look at our land borders with Mexico and Canada. And I need to quote Bob who is our Division Administrator in New York. He made a comment one day that I thought was very compelling in that regard. And that was that his biggest headache following September 11th, 2001, was not New York City. He said, in fact, it was the border with Canada and what to do with it because that border had been closed because it stopped so much trading traffic when that closure took place. Therefore, in FHWA, we feel like anything we can do to improve communications and our planning for changes that take place in those land borders become very important challenge for the transportation industry, for us, for the freight industry, and for all of us, as individuals, as we travel that -- back and forth. The FHWA also has five strategic goals, actually 6. We'll focus on the 5 of them there. Externally oriented. Mobility, local connectivity. Environmental stewardship and international security. I think it's clear when you think through what each of those goals might mean to you, even if it's not in the specific wording that the FHWA might have, that there is a tie between all of them and what happens in the border.

I want to focus particularly on the global connectivity goals. FHWA and USDOT both recognize that as goals as international approach is central to the transportation world in connecting global connectivity. For the $8 trillion freight industry in our country, connections between modes and efficient transport between modes as well as between countries, particularly Canada and the United States, are very critical. With this goal, we have three strategies. Third is on the efficiency and trade and business opportunities. I want to take each of them, a little at a time. In the Federal Highway Administration, we are very actively going on in a variety of efforts designed to improve communication and accord between the outside world and federal world in respect to what's going on. We have the U.S.-Mexico Joint Working Committee, which is, of course -- it represents 10 states. The four southern border states of Mexico. Transportation department. Both federal departments of transportation. Both state departments. And representatives from the Department of Homeland Security, both US VISIT and CBP often join us at those meetings as well as the General Services Administration. And they are very active. They have two-year action plans. They have been in resistance since 1994. They were established with a formal treaty between the United States and Mexico. And they do things like focus on GIS services for the U.S.-Mexico border. Identifying significant transportation quarters. Identifying bottlenecks, investigating ways to relieve those bottlenecks and improving the financing packages that might be available to the Mexican side. The next group, U.S.-Canada Transportation Border Working Group, which we call that is a similar group. Actually keep going a couple of slides now. But its focus on is on the U.S. border with Canada. And it involves all the state departments of transportation on our northern border, all 10 of them, 11 of them, sorry. All the provinces, both federal transportation arms of the federal government. Both again, State Departments. Both security departments. And both departments that are equal to the General Services Administration on the U.S. side. So it is a much larger group both in a perspective in geography that it represents. But it also formally has representatives from a larger variety. It focuses on communications, and in fact, the website on the Canadian side just came up last Friday. The U.S. one should come up this week as a companion. And they have completed a compendium of data needed for the border. And they are going to be embarking on a variety of other works that they will discuss next week here at the meeting. Then there is the Border Station Partnership Council. Or BSPC, which started out as a group of all the federal inspection services. Supported as a formal executive function by the General Services Administration. Because they felt they needed to come together and agree on certain priorities for changes that they would do. Since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, as a variety of those inspection services -- in fact, the bulk of them were colocated under the umbrella of DHSs. This group is changing in what it does and what it seems to be moving toward is an opportunity to provide input for Customs and Border Protection. In their budgeting process. Make decisions. And it's in the way to get input from external steak holders at this point. So it would include Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, state departments of transportation as external stakeholders that would be providing input. However, be careful because that is going to change now and is not yet 100% clear how that will come out.

Finally, I want to talk a little bit about the Binational Bridges and Border Crossings Group. This is a group that is hosted and done by the State Department. And it coordinates exchange of the technical and policy information on bridges and border crossings at the southern border. So it really is, again, another group between Mexico and the U.S. a lot of people seem to think we have land borders between the U.S. and Mexico, which is true. But many of those ports of entry have bridges that cross over water. So techically they're not maritime ports but they have water. So many think that they have the only place that has water connections like that. But it's really not true. There are some in the southern border as well.

With the strategy we have on global connectivity to improve freight loads, many in this room that I'm looking at and others across the wire have probably heard a lot about several of these. So I'm not going to spend too much time on the freight analysis framework or talking freight seminars because that's what we're doing right now. But I will talk about the Border and Corridor Grants program that is administered out of my office for the Federal Highway Administration. And technically, they come from section 1118 and 1119 of each one. And their full name is the National Corridor of Planning and Development Programs and the Coordinated Border Infrastructure Program. But you can call it ncpd /cbip. So if you hear me say CORBOR or corridors and borders, you will know that these are the two programs I am relating to. These are discretionary grants that are funded out of a single source. So they are operating as if they are one program. And they total $140 million a year. And although they are not specifically dedicated to improving freight loans, they do help activity in ports of entry and improve traffic flows on multistate corridors. The corridors and borders provides funding for planning. And operation of projects. Border regions, Mexico and Canada, as well as high priority areas throughout the United States. Those are the ones that have been designated by Congress or ones that meet a set of criteria that are embedded in section 1118. They don't have to be a high priority. I wanted to just list some examples of improvement that this set of programs funded at the borders. The bridge of El Paso, Texas. It's been a very successful project. Champlain, New York port of entry. At Otay Mesa, we have provided seed funding through this program for FAST lane. So that's just a sampling of some of the projects that relate to borders in that program. This next slide shows how the program's funding changed over its life. In the very beginning, it was 100% the choice or the selection of USDOT. And the reason you see that these numbers don't total $140 million each year is because these programs are subject to what's called an obligation. If all of you are on the soliciting end, you will understand that. If not, it just means you don't get quite as much money as you think. It depends on a very complicated formula and ranges between about 85 to 97% of the funding that Congress would authorize for any given program. That's why in that first year, for example, you'll see the total as $123 million because there was an obligation to it. Then in certain years, the appropriators may take a cut across the border of all federal programs. And this would be impacted by that as well.

As the program changed, you can see by the color on the bar chart that it is now 100% selected by Congress. And in fiscal year 2002 and 2003, not only was it 100% selected by Congress, but they gave the program more money. It's very popular. Next slide. Shows you that as a result of this program, where most of money had gone with respect to the borders and corridors, you can see that between fiscal year '99 and fiscal year 2004, award of about $1.2 billion. And those are not always separate projects because several awards over a period of years can be related to one project. But of those monies, $1 billion or about 83% were clearly projects that were multistate corridor related. $157 million or 13% were related to land borders. And it is land borders statutorily in this program. It is specifically tied to the borders. And another 56 million or 4% went to projects that were eligible under both of those programs. Since we administer them as one, the eligibility can be so broad it's very easy for a program to be both programs. And for example, there was one program that was actually a land border program that was actually in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Finally, the strategy on improving international road partnerships. I mentioned quite a few of the groups that we have. We also have the border technology exchange program. And it helps to share technology and use of that technology in foreign countries. Particularly with Mexico. Quite a few of the engineers in Mexico. The traffic and the driver licensing folks in New Mexico have benefited from this program. And we have a similar program in Canada. Then we have many other program activities from around the world.

On this slide I don't want you to get carried away with trying to figure out what it says. Because the purpose of it is really to focus you on the middle. We call this the target chart, being a land-supportive entry. This is just trying to show you the type of interest and parties and focus on the land borders so that if you change one piece of this, you would impact the whole rest of it. The Federal Highway Administration, we did not create this schematic. Transport Canada did, so you need to thank them for that. But it also means I'm not able to change it around very much. I want to show cold alphabet soup. If you are working with the freight community in particular, you have to deal with this entire alphabet. And it is not very simple. It is very complex.

Next slide, the question is really what will the future bring? I promised I'd try to talk about that. And do not try to adjust your computer. This slide is blurry. And it is blurry by design because my crystal ball isn't terrific. And I'm looking around the room. I don't think anybody has a very good crystal ball. So what I'll talk about there is what's happening with reauthorization. For the borders and the corridors grant program in particular. That pretty directly affects the land borders, particularly the borders program. And we have SAFETEA, house TEA and TEA LU. But since we are operating under an extension of our basic authority right now, it's very hard to predict much beyond the end of April what everything is going to look like. Or whether we'll be having any of these kind of talks. So we'll find out. But I'll talk a little about what's in the Senate version of the border corridor and borders program. I want to say up front that while the Administration, while it eliminated many or most of the discretionary grant programs, the Administration decided to keep both a corridor program and a borders program in its proposal. And that is because of this strong emphasis that I showed you on corridors like Congress, which I showed you were very important to try to help with the freight flows, as well as the rest of the traveling public in a multistate way. Plus the need to look at land borders and how complicated that is, there needs to be a special focus on that. Not only did we prefer keeping these discretionary programs, we kept them as one. In the SAFETEA position. In the Senate version. Or the border program, which they call border planning operations technology and capacity programs. It is section 1810 of SAFETEA. And it would authorize $1 billion over six years for this program for foreigners. The Administration's proposal with a little more than $400 million. The difference is that for SAFETEA, the Senate version double to make it easier. They changed the program to a formula program, the Administration did not propose a permanent program. Ask they also put in construction as an invisible activity. The Administration's proposal focused on planning efforts. In the Senate version, they also allowed some transfer of funds. Canada and Mexico, as long as they meet with standards, which is important for land borders. And that the funds could be used for GSA for construction. With several other states, this has been a particular problem and for some of the facility it's very difficult. The multistate corridor program in the Senate version picks it as a visionary program. Authorizes about $1 billion over six years, again compared to almost $500 million and allows construction as an eligible activity, which the focus of the Administration's proposal with planning with limited structure. The Senate version also gives priority projects that emphasize multimodal planning for increased mobility, freight productivity. So a strong interest in a great community. Access marine or inland ports. Safety and security. And liability. The House section in comparison, also has two separate programs and the border program they call coordinated border infrastructure program. Section 1302. And they authorize it at $1.1 billion over six years. They include construction as an eligible activity. They do have it as a formula program rather than a discretionary program. Do not address spending in Canada. Nor do they address transfer of funds. For the corridor program, they call it the national corridor infrastructure improvement. They have it as a discretionary program and they allow construction as an eligible activity. It would limit the money. The priority on the funds for corridors of national significance such as interstate corridors, which I propose you may have to end up defining. And they include some selection factors for projects, which would be the extent to which the project in a corridor links to existing statement the interstate. The extent to which commercial traffic has or is expected to increase. Again, it would make it of interest to the freight. The extent to which international truck foreign commodities move through the corridors. And the extent to which the project will make improvement in the existing segment. That would result in some suggestion perception. So there are some differences there which is why that crystal ball is particularly blurry. But I guess we could focus on the key future for the success. And I think this is very important. They really are communication. We have, back to that. If you think about that target chart I showed you a few minutes ago. If you also think of it perhaps as a water, a pail of water, where you drop a pebble in. Any of those parts and pieces, any place you drop those pebbles creates waves and affects the other place. So what we think would work the best for the freight community, traveling public and for all those people going back and forth to work would be to make these waves bigger and work together instead of across. And I can't remember. There's a mathematical formula for all of that.

So in the end, listed is the headquarters border team for land borders. They are listed here. We also have teams out in the divisions. We have Alicia Nolan. And Lisa Dye, who focuses on the southern border. We have a corridor team here in headquarters as well. Thank you very much for your time this afternoon. And I hope everyone could hear me fine. Thank you.

J. Seplow:

Thank you, Jill. I hope everybody found these two presentations interesting. And we'll now begin the question-and-answer session. There were some questions that were typed in here. So we'll start off with those. And -- most of the questions look like they are geared more towards Bobby's presentation. But Jill, if you have anything to say, please feel free to jump in as well. We'll start off with the first question. First question, person who asked this may need to call in and clarify a little bit. I believe the question was in regards to the transponders and it was about what about fleets with owner-operators.

R. Watt:

Owner-operators can apply as a C-TPAT carrier, as their own carrier. Even though it's a one person -- he can apply as his own carrier. If he joins C-TPAT, he's the owner of that rig, then he can apply in that. And once you apply in a C-TPAT carrier, then you'll get the spread sheet requesting, you know, if you only have one truck, you'll get the truck. You'll put all the information in. And you'll get the spread sheet as well as the transponders. The spread sheet is something that Melon Bank will send you as part of the issuance of the transponders.

J. Seplow:

Thank you. The next question is, there are some general differences between the FAST and U.S. VISIT program. How will these two be integrated so as to create seamless trade?

R. Watt:

Currently, it's envisioned that U.S. VISIT requirements will be met with participation in FAST because of the prescreening interviews that we do. We already get the fingerprints, the exit part of the U.S. VISIT has been completely developed. But it's RFID technology we were talking about before and the other uses should lend itself to some sort of exit tracking.

J. Seplow

Okay. Next question is what role is anticipated for inland U.S. Customs ports for FAST C-TPAT, and other initiatives discussed today?

R. Watt:

Inland for FAST? As of right now, we're just working on the northern and southern borders. We are going to look towards -- eventually look towards sea ports et cetera as far as FAST goes. But as far as C-TPAT, Customs Partnership Against Terrorism, that's for all across the country.

J. Hochman:

I also wanted to add that the Transportation Border Working Group and the Joint Working Committee, as well as the Binational Bridges and Border Group, do talk about both these programs frequently in their meetings, and they exchange a lot of information there. Plus for the facilities that support these programs, we have been working very hard to do coordination with CBT. Both arms, operational arms as well as the facility arms and the General Services Administration, as well as the U.S. VISIT program. Because again it gets back to the ripple effect that I would try to demonstrate. because what one group does impacts another. And you know, we've heard examples where some of the construction, for example, that may have been done to modernize a port of entry would be scheduled for Vermont to break ground in March. And that ends up -- the state DOTs and Federal Highway Administration will point out that you can't break ground in March in Vermont. Because it just doesn't it doesn't work. So that kind of coordination, we're working hard to coordinate the U.S. VISIT and the FAST programs with the actual transportation infrastructure needs. Also, as far as C-TPAT goes, for ports inland, and all the sea ports, in order to -- when you join C-TPAT, you'll get a big reduction in number of examinations. So it will be a benefit for you at ports, tons of C-TPAT importers, you just don't have to receive the benefits by going on the northern and southern borders. A lot of benefits, sea ports and airports as well.

J. Seplow:

Thank you. The next question, regarding the number and flow of freight at the border. I am continually asked about what portion is LTL and what portion is TL. This makes the tremendous difference in the kinds of programs that should be implemented at the border. For instance, FAST, C-TPAT is a disaster for LTLs because they will never give all of their information. Why isn't anyone tracking TLs versus LTLs at the border.

R. Watt:

First, let me say FAST or C-TPAT is not a disaster for LTLs. It's coming -- the benefits are just now being realized. It's a little slower. Especially at the original five ports on the northern border. And what benefit you'll get if you're an LTL carrier. You take the time out for the carrier and use a FAST driver, all shipments going to secondary. And when you go there, you'll receive priority processing. If you have those two components are, C-TPAT and FAST driver, we go immediately to the front of the line when you go to secondary and all the locations along the northern border and southern border as well. In addition, in Port Huron, they're looking to have your own separate office. So you don't have to wait in line at all. They should be at the separate office in another month, where if you're a C-TPAT carrier and have a FAST driver, you just go to a separate office and you'll be taken care of immediately. All benefits for LTL carriers.

J. Seplow:

Next question is, the ports using PAPS have limited the number of PAPS shipments that can be used as primary. Has that changed and become standard now?

R. Watt:

It's a possibility. It could change. Basically, it goes from port by port because some might only do five transactions on the border because they're busy. Some might let 10 go because it's not as busy. That, as of right now, there's been no discussion on. But come the trade act, we might advance that at all ports basically because everybody is in PAPS. We might advance the number higher. And we actually should. We'll probably get together and see if we should standardize it. Again, why not do it on the -- at a port where there is no backup. Why not do everything there? But at a port like Detroit, do you want to go like 10 or 15 where they should go secondary to move the line?

J. Seplow:

Last question typed in is, is there any type of random check performed to verify that the ID card holder is the face on the card to prevent theft?

R. Watt:

Again, this is the beauty of the FAST card. This is why so many inspectors have the safe in the FAST card. Everything is back in. You can have the best forger in the world inside the FAST card, there's a transponder chip. As the driver is coming up, he'll hold it up against the reader. And even if the reader is broken, there's a bar code on the FAST card, where the inspector will wind it. All the information that's on that FAST card, plus if the inspector wanted to, he could see the driver's original application. So all that information is in his computer. If there's any type of forgery because of a lost card or something, immediately he'll be sent to secondary. If all those pictures and all that information that the inspector sees in his computer doesn't match what's on the card, it doesn't match to the driver himself, he'll be subject to -- sent to secondary.

J. Seplow:

Thank you. We have a few more questions typed in. FAST sounds like the old ITDS program. Is it also expected to be used by Canadian and Mexican officials for U.S. exports?

R. Watt:

Canada and Mexico have their own FAST program. In Canada, it's called -- Canada and Mexico, it's called express. So you'll see FAST-express. And if you're exporting into Canada or Mexico, we have FAST lanes, both going northbound and southbound. But as far as their requirements going into Mexico and Canada, I don't know them right now. But you can get them on the various websites. Regarding the express -- Canada is a little bit -- Mexico is just starting out with their express program. But Canada's express program has been open since the beginning of ours in december of 2002.

J. Seplow:

Thank you. And we have another question regarding the ID card. Is there any biometric info on the card? In addition to the picture? What if the driver wears a disguise?

R. Watt:

Okay. If the driver is wearing a disguise, the driver would have to know exactly what that -- again, it's a three-prong match. There is no -- the biometric is used whether the driver is applying for the card. We make sure -- again, we had a lot of drivers come up. They're working for a carrier for 10 or 15 years as Tom Jones. What happened, 15 years before that, he was Mike Smith. And the carriers didn't realize that. He had a legitimate driver's license. So that's where we use the fingerprints to make sure the person we're giving this card to is that person. That's where we do the biometrics. After that, it's all back-ended information. If he had a disguise on or not, he would have to look like that person. And if it's a lost card, he would have to know what that person look said like.

J. Hochman:

I understand that the biometric will be the fingerprint, too. The two will go together, correct. >

J. Seplow:

Another question is typed in. How are intermodal containers handled with cities of origin elsewhere?

R. Watt:

I'm not too sure what they mean on that.

J. Seplow:

On that question, you may want to call in injust a minute and ask the question over the phone so you can get more information, or feel free to type in more information. Next question, are FAST participants eligible to use FAST at all FAST crossings? Or are participants' eligibility specific to one crossing.

R. Watt:

No. That's the beauty of the FAST card, you can use it at any crossing. Whether you're crossing in Blaine, Washington or Maine. Northern border can used on the southern border. There's a northern border card, FAST card. Now, if you're using -- if you're using it to go into Canada, if you're using their express program, can you only use it to go into Canada and vice versa, whether you use the FAST card in Mexico and the U.S. any port you go into, there's only one FAST card.

J. Seplow:

Well, that's all the questions we have typed in. So at this point, I think we can go ahead and open the phone lines for questions. So Lynn, we're ready to open the lines.

Operator:

Excellent. Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to register a question, please press the 1, followed by the 4 on your phone. You will hear a three-tone prompt to acknowledge your request. If your question has been answered and you'd like to withdraw your registration, please press the 1 followed by the 3. If you're using a speaker phone, please lift your handset before entering your request. One moment, please, for the first question. As a reminder, to register for a question, please press the 1, followed by the 4 on your telephone. It appears at this time that there are no questions.

J. Seplow

Okay. Any questions around the room here? The question from the room here is if there are any plans to incorporate the new TSA TWIC card, which is Transportation Worker Identification Card into FAST?

R. Watt:

That's a very good question. And a question we were working with TSA on over the last 6 to 8 months on. As of right now, there's nothing definitive. But we are working with TSA on that question. And one of the things we're hoping to do, as the FAST card will take the place of the TWIC card for drivers on the northern and southern border. But all the issues haven't been worked out yet. We would hate to see duplicate work being done. But I know they have a lot of issues still to work out. A lot of bugs to work out as far as the TWIC card goes. But we are working together continuously on that.

J. Seplow:

Have we had any questions come in through the phone yet?

Operator:

Ladies and gentlemen, as a reminder, if you'd like to register for a question, please press the 1, followed by the 4 on your telephone. One moment, please, for the first question. The first question comes from the line of Cheryl Bynum from US EPA. Please proceed with your question.

Cheryl Bynum:

Hey there. At EPA now we have a new program called the smart way transport partnership and one of the goals is to reduce idling. And I was wondering how we might integrate our program with this new program? Ours is to save energy, and yours is obviously security-based. But we do have some overlapping applications.

R. Watt:

I agree with you 100%. And the best people to talk to about that is at the blue water bridge authority in Port Huron. With the -- again, they're having increased traffic coming across. But a lot less wait time, which is a lot idling time. But if you want to call me separately, we could talk to the bridge authority and how we could work out. FAST program, in general, we're reducing wait time, especially as the program increases. We don't want to spend all our time looking at people that have taken the time out to secure the supply chain. We want to let those guys through as quick as possible so we can concentrate on or efforts on the risky type of cargo coming through. So by getting all those people, which is a large majority -- you know, a big majority of people through as quickly as possible, that will definitely reduce the idling time, which we're starting to find out just at the beginning of the program, in Port Huron, which is probably one of the busiest ports in the border, second to Detroit.

J. Hochman:

And Cheryl, this is Jill Hochman. If you would like to call me, we can chat about perhaps having you present this program or someone in EPA present this program at the upcoming Transportation Border Working Group meeting or even perhaps the General Services Administration and Federal Highway Administration jointly sponsors a domestically-focused border issues conference. And that will be in June of this year in Chicago. So why don't you give me a call and we can talk about a way to maybe get that on the agenda

C. Bynum:

Okay. Good. That sounds good. Thanks.

R. Watt:

And if you want to give me a call, I can give you all the numbers for the people. And talk to you about the FAST program in general. But also give you the numbers for the people at the blue water bridge authority in Port Huron, Michigan.

C. Bynum:

I'll do that as well. I'll call you both offline. Thank you.

Operator:

Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, as a reminder, if you'd like to ask a question, please press the 1, followed by the 4 on your telephone. And it appears at this time that there are no further questions.

J. Seplow

Okay. Well, I believe at this point, then, we're going to close out today's seminar. Thank you, everybody, for attending. And thank you, Jill and Bobby for your presentations. >> thank you. Thank you for having us.>> The recorded version of this event will be available in the next day or two on the Talking Freight website. And I will be sending a follow-up e-mail on information how to access the recording, how to obtain PowerPoint and written transcripts. , Don't Just Study It - Do It! An Overview of Oregon DOT's Economic and Bridge Options Study, with presentations from the Oregon DOT and Parsons Brinckerhoff, the consulting firm that assisted with the study. If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to visit the Talking Freight Web Site and sign up for this one and future seminars. I also encourage you to join the Freight Planning LISTSERV if you have not already done so, the address is on your screen right now. Thank you, everybody. And enjoy the rest of your day.

Operator:

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. That does conclude conference call for today. We thank you for your participation and ask that you please disconnect your lines.

Contact Information

Spencer Stevens
Office of Planning
spencer.stevens@dot.gov
Phone: 202-366-0149/717-221-4512
Carol Keenan
Office of Freight Management & Operations
carol.keenan@fhwa.dot.gov
Phone: 202-366-6993

Updated: 03/29/2011
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