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Mary HeiserDirector, Industry & Product Marketing, FourKites

Global trade patterns have shifted rapidly in the past five years, as geopolitical tensions and disruptions have pushed supply chain leaders to rethink their international networks. For example, the New York Times reports that the US bought more goods from Mexico than China in 2023 for the first time in 20 years, due to high tariffs imposed on imports from China and the desire to mitigate the risk of future supply chain chaos.

With the volume of shipments across the US-Mexico border likely to grow, shippers can streamline operations with Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programs like the United States’ Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) and Mexico’s Authorized Economic Operator (OEA) program.

What are Authorized Economic Operator Programs?

AEO programs are based on the Customs-to-Business partnership guidance from the World Customs Organization, and grant businesses certification as trusted parties, showcasing their compliance with customs regulations. Participation in AEO programs helps businesses make their import/export operations more efficient and minimize cross-border trade delays.

How can companies achieve AEO compliance with real-time visibility?

These programs require companies to document procedures to prevent and respond to security incidents in their supply chain and maintain records for audits. Real-time visibility platforms like FourKites can be a critical tool for companies in achieving compliance with these programs by enhancing transparency, traceability, and security across the supply chain. Here’s how:

  1. Proactively address security risks before they escalate. FourKites enables companies to track and monitor goods in real time as they move across different stages of the supply chain. This visibility allows companies to identify potential security risks by giving them real-time notifications if their shipments enter a high-risk area or deviate from their designated path, helping someone quickly intervene to secure the shipment.
  2. Enhanced risk assessments. Companies can incorporate transit data, including origin, destination and transit routes into their risk assessments. They can also leverage robust analytics within the FourKites platform to identify and address gaps in visibility or areas of concern within their supply chain.
  3. Streamlined record-keeping. AEO programs often require meticulous record-keeping to demonstrate compliance with regulations. FourKites facilitates the digitization and centralization of documents at the shipment level, so companies can easily comply with audits. Additionally, gate guards can complete CTPAT inspection checklists through FourKites’ Dynamic Yard, and companies can easily retrieve these records during audits.
  4. Fast, secure communication. FourKites fosters better collaboration and communication among supply chain partners, including suppliers, carriers, and customs authorities. By offering a single source of truth for real-time transit data, with multiple ways of sharing live tracking insights and shipment data, FourKites enables companies to respond quickly to regulatory changes or security incidents.

As US-Mexico trade relationships continue to evolve and grow, companies that prioritize end-to-end visibility and work closely with their partners to digitize and modernize operations will be best positioned to navigate the challenges of customs compliance, mitigate supply chain risks, and optimize their cross-border shipping operations.

Smoother end-to-end supply chain operations

Whether it’s customs clearance or trans-loading, it’s crucial to identify and mitigate potential supply chain chokepoints or bottlenecks. Unfortunately, a significant gap often exists in international shipping due to underinvesting in modern digital solutions that could provide critical visibility. In fact, 48% of supply chain leaders say their supply chain digitization is sub-par, and 43% say they have no single source of truth for their data, according to a survey conducted by FourKites and YouGov.

But many are making strides. Crystal Feasby, Director of Global Logistics at Haworth, shared how they want to provide their organization with predictive analytics, network design, and optimization based on a digital twin. “So all of the data that we’re collecting from FourKites is going to help us reach that ultimate goal,” she explained.

And they’re not the only ones. Many FourKites customers are creating an end-to-end view of their supply chain with real-time visibility that extends beyond transportation into yards, warehouses, stores and more.

Want to learn more? We’d love to talk.

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