ACE filings on the rise

Descartes Systems Group, a global on-demand software-as-a-service (SaaS) logistics solutions provider, recently announced the expansion of its service center in Pittsburgh to support its Customs Filing and Compliance Services, which help ground carriers and customs brokers make electronic filings required to bring cargo into the United States by truck.

In May 2007, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that all trucks entering the United States would be required to electronically file a manifest with CBP prior to arrival at the border. The e-Manifest must include details of the cargo, the shipper and the recipient. CBP has mandated a similar e-Manifest initiative for filings to its Automated Commercial Environment for air and ocean shipments entering the United States.

“The number of ACE filings has increased significantly now that the e-Manifest rules are mandatory for all trucks entering the U.S.,” says Edward Ryan, executive vice president of global field operations for Descartes. “We’ve opened this additional service center to handle the increased volume and to enable us to continue to deliver the quality of service our customers have come to expect from Descartes.”

More than 500 carriers, including three of the top four North American for-hire truck carriers, use Descartes to help them comply with CBP’s ACE e-Manifest initiative, the company says. While the initiative became mandatory in May, CBP is expected to implement more rigorous enforcement over the coming months.

Descartes says its Customs Filing and Compliance Services for the e-Manifest initiative include:

ACE-4-Trucks Service: a Web-based application that allows truckers to electronically submit waybill and trip information directly to CBP in advance of arriving at the border. Detailed report updates and email e-alerts advise users of border-crossing problems or manifest errors in real time. This application also builds profile databases for the shipper, consignee, companies, driver and equipment data used on repeated shipments.

ACE Preparer Service: a service focused on the carrier that does not want to directly manage ACE compliance software and the submissions. This service allows carriers to simply fax or e-mail a complete manifest to the Descartes 24X7 service center, and our operators will file to CBP directly. This service also provides real-time status updates of the e-Manifest submission.

ACE Premier Service: takes the ACE Preparer Service one step further for customs compliance. This service takes the faxed documents and routes them to the proper customs broker for customs processing. In addition, this service provides the follow-up necessary to ensure that the driver can arrive at the border fully prepared. ACE Premier manages the movement of vital trade documentation to the right place at the right time.

ACE Connect Service: For large organizations with an existing infrastructure and ACE filing solutions, the ACE Connect Service processes this existing data and submits it via industry-standard EDI or an in-house XML and securely transmits it directly to the CBP.

Descartes says it also offers an Affinity Program for users to resell the ACE-4-Trucks Service and brand it as their own value-added service to their customers.