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Nov.16, 2015

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ACE DEADLINE RATTLES NERVES CUSTOMS BROKERS AND forwarders are urging the U.S. government not to botch the late-February roll-out of the ACE "single window" program, not- ing how Australia's implementation of a similar system roiled supply chains in 2005. The National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America said it's urging U.S. Customs and Border Protection to be careful when launching the new automated commercial environment on Feb. 28. The system, long-delayed and over budget by more than $1 billion, promises to consolidate, automate and modernize border processing by allowing importers and exporters to share trade documents with government agencies via a single, electronic portal. The NCBFAA said Customs doesn't have enough resources to handle the transition, and the rollout is being driven by White House orders, not the completion of software function- ality. The other government agencies involved in the program are adding new data elements and submission requirements, increasing costs for brokers and importers, the NCBFAA said. Customs is "continually evaluating the readi- ness around this transition and intends to do this in a way that does not disrupt the flow of commerce," the agency told The Journal of Commerce. "We appreciate the concerns raised by the NCBFA A and will continue to work closely with them and all of our stakeholders to ensure we can successfully meet our shared goal of operating in a single window environ- ment." Customs moved the Nov. 1 deadline for ACE, which is expected to save shippers and brokers time and money, to February following warnings from shippers, brokers and others that they weren't ready. TEAMSTERS STEP UP EFFORTS TO ORGANIZE CALIFORNIA HARBOR TRUCKERS THE TEAMSTERS UNION is eyeing California as a launching pad for a national drayage organizing push. The union has intensified its organizing efforts in Los Angeles-Long Beach because drivers are clamoring for representation and the reg ulatory climate in California is favorable to champion issues such as worker misclassification, according to union spokeswoman Barbara Maynard. Although the largest U.S. port complex is currently the battleground for organizing efforts in harbor trucking, the Teamsters is also following developments in other regions such as New York-New Jersey and Savannah where they believe there are opportunities for unionization of port truck drivers, Maynard said. Teamster actions in Los Angeles-Long Beach this month included the targeting of additional drayage companies for alleged m iscla ssif icat ion of ow ner-operators a s independent contractors rather than direct employees. The union also formed a partner- ship with a local organization that advocates for the rights of warehouse workers. Team- sters President Ja mes P. Hof fa a nd Vice President Fred Potter flew in from the East Coast to lead the picketers. Meanwhile, the increased Teamsters activities drew a strong response from the Harbor Trucking Associa- tion of Southern California, which represents about 100 motor carriers with 6,000 trucks. The HTA charged that Teamsters disruptions of port trucking operations is illegal, and fur- thermore, that marine terminals that give in to union requests to boycott the trucks of motor carriers targeted could themselves be acting illegally. Weston LaBar, executive director of the HTA, said the association, as a member of the ports' supply chain optimi- zation effort, urges the ports to do more to prevent picketing by Teamsters sympathiz- ers from interfering with the efficient and expeditious movement of cargo, which is what the optimization committee seeks to achieve. "The activities of the International Brother- hood of Teamsters directly conflict with these efforts and have contributed to congestion and increased turn times at terminals where ambulatory picketing has taken place," LaBar said. The Warehouse Worker Resource Center in Ontario, California, announced in late Octo- ber that it is partnering with the Teamsters. The warehouse center is an advocacy orga- nization that seeks better pay and working conditions for workers, but it is not a union. The Teamsters would handle any organizing efforts that might result. Spotlight 6 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE NOVEMBER 16.2015 6 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE

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