Crowley Liner Services said it has been certified by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as part of the new Marine Port Terminal Operator (MPTO) designation, known as the AQUA Lane program, which essentially gives the shipper a “fast lane” for cargo operations by allowing incoming vessels to be pre-cleared by CBP.
The validation comes after an a on-site inspections and vetting of Crowley’s Port Everglades terminal found the shipper to be fully compliant with program requirements and to have also implemented additional best practices, including enhanced due diligence security standards.
Port Everglades is one of four ports nationwide to test the roll out of the MPTO program, and Crowley Liner Services is among the first private companies in the nation to receive the designation.
AQUA Lane program certification enables Crowley to apply for Advanced Qualified Unlading Approval to allow an incoming vessel and its cargo to be pre-cleared by CBP 12 hours prior to the ship’s estimated arrival, instead of having to wait for a CBP officer to board and clear the ship. The company can now begin cargo discharge and load back upon docking in Port Everglades, reducing wait times by terminal personnel between vessel docking and operations commencement, Crowley said. It also increases the speed of port turn times and expedites cargo movement.
As part of this certification, Crowley’s Port Everglades terminal now has its own Custom-Trade Partnership against Terrorism (C-TPAT) Program certificate and joins other company divisions Crowley Latin America Services, Crowley Logistics and Customized Brokers as fully certified and validated C-TPAT program members.
“As an industry leader, Crowley recognizes the importance of government-industry partnerships like this one to deter terrorism as well as protect our employees, operations, equipment and customers’ cargoes,” said Crowley’s Ed Alford, director, security in Port Everglades. “We have dedicated our focus and commitment in these areas to ensure the absolute integrity and overall efficiency of our part in the global trade supply chain process for years. We are glad to see that dedication paying off in reduced cargo turn times for our customers.”
Crowley also participates in other customs industry programs, such as the Super Carrier Initiative Agreement (SCIA) program, which deters and protects cargo and vessels from contraband, narcotics and stowaways and supports the Business Anti-Smuggling Coalition program (BASC) in its areas of operation. BASC is a sister program for foreign shippers and consignees that do not have headquarters in the U.S.