IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT WE ARE ABLE TO REACH YOU AFTER HOURS
Most Customs issues are created during normal business hours, but do not become identified until after hours.
For example, if you load a truck and send the paperwork to your Customs Broker in the early afternoon, but the driver’s ETA to the border is late in the evening, your Customs Broker will not normally begin to process that paperwork until mid-evening.
So if there is a problem with the paperwork, mid-evening is when it will surface, and that is when we need to be able reach you. Only you have the authority to modify Customs documents – neither Copper Run nor the carrier can do it on your behalf.
A PAPERWORK DETAIL HAS BEEN MISSED, OR A CUSTOMS OFFICER IS SKEPTICAL, OR A CUSTOMS BROKER LACKS AN AUTHORIZATION, AND THE FREIGHT IS STUCK AT SOME REMOTE LOCATION UNTIL AN AUTHORIZED REPRESNETATIVE OF THE SHIPPER OR IMPORTER DOES SOMETHING.
Shipping freight across a border is easy to do, provided that it is done properly, with full attention given to every detail. When everything is set up correctly, in advance of the truck arriving at the border crossing, the driver, truck and freight can be delayed for less than a minute at the border.
But when something is not properly prepared in advance, things will deteriorate quickly, and the truck will be at the border for much, much longer. And your freight may be at the border, or at an inland warehouse, for even longer. Delays are typically measured in days, not hours.
Most of these types of issues are first discovered by the carrier, when it learns that your freight can’t be cleared. The carrier advises us by telephone or e-mail, and early information about the reason for the issue is usually sketchy.
We first contact the Customs Broker to about learn what the problem really is, and how it can most quickly be resolved.
But while we can find out what is wrong, we are not allowed to make it right. Post 9/11, the security of the international freight transportation system is subject to increasingly strict controls. As a result, corrections to documents, for example, can only be made by persons, such as yourself, our customer, who have been authorized to do so under the terms of the government-approved export/import arrangements (e.g., FAST) that apply to your freight.
And since the freight industry operates 24/7, it is very often after hours when problems are discovered. So both Copper Run and your Customs Broker are going to try to reach you at home on Sunday morning over brunch, or on Tuesday evening while you are visiting with friends, or whenever, wherever.
Fast response, no matter the time of day or day of the week, is the only way these problems can be resolved quickly. If they are not resolved, the freight will sit, deliveries will be delayed, and extra costs will be incurred.
15 minutes of telephone work in the first hour can save 15 – 30 – 45 hours of delay
The way to avoid these types of problems, include those listed below, and the after-hours calls, is to give full attention to every detail as the shipment and shipment documents are being prepared.
- The Customs Broker can’t process the clearance
- The Customs Broker won’t process the clearance
- The paperwork shows the wrong Customs Broker
- The paperwork is incomplete or incorrect
- There is a Customs computer malfunction
- The freight can’t be processed after hours
- The wrong freight is on the truck
- The freight is being de-vanned for inspection
- The freight is being put in bond
- The truck is delayed by problems with other shipper’s freight
- The truck is carrying contraband
- You want us to know about it
- You may need our guidance
- We need you to tell us what is or isn’t happening
- Refer to the sub-headings noted above, to see if your problem if referenced above. If it is, go to the referenced sub-section for more detail.
- Do not try to resolve the situation until you have spoken with us: we have dealt with your problem before, and our advice will be focussed on saving you time and money.
- We will tell you what you can do, what you can’t do, what we recommend, and how we will assist you.
- We will make any necessary arrangements with the carrier.
- We will have the carrier instruct the driver – remember, the driver works for the carrier, not for you and not for us.
We will let you know how and why your specific issue occurred, and what, if anything, you can do to reduce the chances of it happening again. But remember, Customs problems almost always start with paperwork.
IMAPCT & TYPICAL RESOLUTION
We will tell you how we and others, faced with similar issues, have resolved them in the past. And we will give you an estimate of the delay and costs, if any, of achieving a resolution