About Web sites providing key customs, shipping info
Jan 1, 2003 12:00 PM, [Compiled by Mary Davis email@example.com]
A WEB site offers an excellent opportunity for both private and public organizations to get new information on customs and shipping activities, not only in the United States, but globally.
The US Customs Service has a new government/industry program to expedite border crossings in what has become a security-conscious world. The department has posted information about the program on its Web site so shippers and carriers can learn about its services.
Similarly, the Maritime Administration has added information on its site that helps shippers find US container ships, including those that handle tank containers.
The American Petroleum Institute, Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company, and Chevron Phillips Chemical Co are taking advantage of their sites to offer new Web-based services. To be able to introduce new services immediately without an intermediary can be an effective means for driving service. The Web provides the immediacy that is needed.
A section on the US Customs Service Web site discusses the new C-TPAT program established as part of the effort to provide security against terrorism. Carriers that cross the US and Canada border are eligible for the program, in addition to air, rail, and sea carriers involved in all importing operations to the US.
C-TPAT, an acronym for Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, is an initiative between business and government to protect global commerce from terrorism. Unveiled this past April, the program initially sought membership from the importing and global transportation communities.
The program works in conjunction with the Free and Secure Trade Program (FAST) established between the US and Canada to enhance border security. Information on the FAST program also is available on the site.
Companies that want to register for the programs can find the information and contacts on the site.
The Maritime Administration's Office of Cargo Preference has developed a Web site that makes it easier to locate US-flag ships to carry cargo, including tank containers, to designated points around the world.
The site encourages and promotes the use of US-flag vessels in international trade because these ships provide critical jobs to American seafarers and licensed officers, according to the Maritime Administration office.
With the web-based system, the shipper selects from a drop-down menu the country of final destination of its cargo. Once the country has been identified, a database appears of carriers that serve that trade route, containing the carrier's name, frequency of calls, and points of contact with web site information.
The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company, Fort Worth Texas, has introduced its redesigned Web site to improve navigation so customers can more quickly and easily access more real-time information. Four main customer buttons (iPower, markets, prices, and products and services) link to pages containing information for doing business with BNSF.
The iPower section is an integrated set of Web-enabled tools that fall into one of five distinct categories: iPlan, iShip, iManage, iTrace, iPay.
In the markets section, customers will find information on the geographic regions the company serves, the commodities it ships, and other related links.
The prices section enables customers to find additional information to help plan pricing updates and price-related maps.
Products and services includes information about border shipments, intermodal services, and equipment information.
Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP (CPChem), Houston, Texas, has expanded its site with links to 15 product line Web sites. Those product line sites include product lists as well as some product application information.
For certain product lines, material safety data sheets and technical data sheets also will be accessible online.
“We've been working to gather information from the multiple product lines that make up CPChem,” said Joni Johnson, ebusiness manager. “Previously, some of the products had Web sites, while others didn't. Our intent was to develop a uniform way to present our product line and company information for our customers.”
The redesigned site also features company news updates, job postings, as well as contact information for CPChem facilities worldwide.
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