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    14.660
    0.1%
  • OTLT.USA
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    -0.006
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  • OTRI.USA
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    0.240
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  • OTVI.USA
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    10.280
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
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  • WAIT.USA
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    0.000
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  • ITVI.USA
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    14.660
    0.1%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.799
    -0.006
    -0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    22.430
    0.240
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  • OTVI.USA
    15,995.600
    10.280
    0.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.930
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  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.330
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
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  • WAIT.USA
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American Shipper

U.S. Customs provides big assist to West Coast port recovery

CBP officers are working overtime to help terminals recover from labor dispute slowdown.

   U.S. Customs and Border Protection is receiving high praise from the trade community for facilitating the flow of containers from congested marine terminals since last week’s tentative labor settlement on the West Coast. Officials said Thursday CBP would continue to do so even if funding for the Department of Homeland Security runs out tonight.
    As promised, CBP is providing extra manpower to carry out cargo security requirements for inbound containers whenever terminals operate beyond normal hours, agency officials and logistics industry professionals say. As part of the recovery effort, CBP officers are manning radiation portal monitors (drive through devices along truck exit lanes that check for possible radioactive weapons) during extended gate hours, conducting weekend X-ray inspections of suspicious containers, and spending extra time at container freight stations if cargo requires a physical examination for potential contraband or trade violations.
   “When we became aware of the tentative agreement last Friday we started to receive those requests,” Todd Owen, the new assistant commissioner for field operations, said during a teleconference to update trade stakeholders on the DHS funding situation. “We had three terminals in Los Angeles and Long Beach that requested extended hours on Saturday. We provided those hours through the weekend and requests have come in pretty steadily, at least in L.A. and Long Beach, since then.
   “And the direction I’ve given to the four West Coast [regional] directors is that we will make every effort to honor those requests, spend the overtime that we need to and do what we can to keep the cargo flowing,” Owen added.
   DHS is currently operating under a stop-gap spending measure that expires at midnight on Friday. Republicans did not appropriate money for the entire fiscal year in an effort to use a potential partial shutdown of DHS as leverage to reverse President Obama’s action to limit deportations of illegal immigrants. Essential missions such as border security will continue to be carried out by front-line personnel, but they will not receive paychecks until funding is restored.
   Representatives from various trade associations and multinational companies on the call thanked CBP for stepping up to help the West Coast ports tackle the container backlog.
   “Customs is extremely aggressive in making sure that the cargo that is on the docks moves through the supply chain as quickly as possible,” Mark Hirzel, president of the Los Angeles Angeles Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association, said in an interview. 
   CBP has also “been extremely flexible” helping terminal operators with the non-intrusive container inspections, according to Hirzel.
   Normally, officers like terminals to line up at least 20 containers on chassis before using a truck-mounted scanner with a gantry arm to check the group at once. In many cases terminals do not have enough chassis on hand or space in the crowded yards to stage the preferred number of boxes, but Customs is still showing up to do the exams.
   Hirzel said the terminals are now working at full speed and that all necessary longshoremen are being dispatched by the union to move out containers.

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