CENSUSÆ FOREIGN TRADE DIVISION COMPLETES LAREDO FORWARDER VISITS EARLY
The U.S. Census Bureau’s strategy of “drop-by” visits to move freight forwarders in Laredo, Texas, from submitting paper shipper’s export declarations to automated filings has finished early.
Since May 21, the agency’s Foreign Trade Division staff, which oversees the trade statistics generated from the government’s Automated Export System, has dispatched two teams weekly from its Suitland, Md. headquarters to Laredo. Census had expected to visit about 250 paper SED-filing forwarders in Laredo by August 3, but finished last week.
“Some teams visited as many as 50 forwarders a week,” said Gerard J. Horner, chief of the AES branch at Census. “Word got around that we were present and the industry was extremely cooperative.”
Census also credited Customs in Laredo for its efforts to promote AES use among the forwarders.
While AES use has increased at Laredo, the land-border crossing is still ranked the heaviest paper SED-filing port in the country. In April, 41,333 paper SEDs were filed at Laredo.
To keep the pressure on the Laredo forwarding industry, Census will check AES records to find out which forwarders have or have not started filing their SEDs electronically. The agency will make telephone calls and send reminders to companies that continue to file paper SEDs.