After much anticipation, the first commercial truck completed an actual in-transit run between Canada and the U.S. this past weekend.
The move marked the launch of a six-month pilot project, promised under the Beyond the Border Action Plan, to restore Canadian carriers’ ability to conduct in-transit shipments while using a limited set of data when crossing the border.
The truck entered the US at Port Huron Michigan on Friday May 27 and exited the US at Emerson, MB the following day, trimming valuable miles from its route.
Currently the pilot is limited to nine highway carriers and three ports of entry/exit – Port Huron, MI, Emerson, MB and Pacific Highway, BC. The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) expects the pilot to expand in November to include additional ports, more carriers or, ideally, both.
Highway carriers involved in the pilot have to meet certain requirements, including being C-TPAT members in good standing, have FAST drivers to move in-transit, and provide all necessary requirements for goods regulated by other government departments (such as FDA prior notice).
“This pilot paves the way for widespread efficiency gains for the trucking industry,” says Jennifer Fox, VP Trade and Security for the Canadian Trucking Alliance. “In-transits haven’t been a regular business practice for 11 years. This is a demonstration of the tangible success we can achieve when industry and government come together with a common goal.”
For years Canadian carriers struggled to move Canadian domestic goods in-transit through the US for the purpose of increasing productivity through shorter distances and safer routes. More comprehensive data requirements imposed by US Customs all but eliminated these types of moves after 9/11. However, the Beyond the Border agreement committed to identifying a reduced data set to permit Canadian carriers to resume in-transit operations for domestic loads.
CTA notes that USCBP, CBSA and PCO were instrumental in ensuring the pilot came to fruition with further support from both the Minister of Public Safety’s office in Canada and the Department of Homeland Security in the US.
CTA will keep the industry updated on this matter as we move closer to the end of the six-moth pilot.