Last January 5, a new law was signed requiring every vehicle, truck, and freight train that crosses into the United States from Canada or Mexico to be scanned and inspected at the ports of entry using X-ray or any similar technology. Once the law is enforced the scanning requirements would likely cause major traffic congestion at the San Isidro Ports of Entry and could cost importers of Otway Mesa cargo millions of dollars daily.
In recent years, border agents have been using X-ray technology in the detection of illegal drugs and weapons. Last June 2019, X-rays allowed the Customs and Border Protection officials to detect 254 pounds of deadly fentanyl hidden inside a tractor-trailer full of cucumbers at the Nogales border crossing in Arizona.
The idea of scanning 100% of inbound cargo is nothing new; however, implementation will be quite difficult. At present, only about 1% of personal vehicles and 15% of cargo trucks that enter land ports are scanned usually at the border between the US and Mexico. The Securing America’s Ports Act that was signed into law by the former US president requires the development and implementation of a plan to expeditiously scan all passenger and commercial vehicles that are entering the US through ports of entry. It also requires the use of large-scale non-intrusive inspection systems like X-rays, gamma-ray imaging systems, or other similar technologies.
The challenge to Customs and Border Protection is how to balance the need of keeping vehicles moving efficiently across the border with the requirement to check for illegal drugs and weapons and comply with the 100% scanning mandate.
On a given day, about $6.3 billion worth of legal cargo passes northbound through the US ports of entry. Should there be a slight disruption or even just a threat of it, it can significantly slow down cross-border commerce. A severe traffic congestion can cost millions of dollars a day not to mention the disruption to the supply chain.
Reliable trucking providers like Titan Transline are very important in cross-border trade in North America. They have to provide different transport options to their clients for dedicated loads, sensitive loads, loads that require temperature-controlled equipment, and oversized loads.