New pre-processing centre to open in Windsor

WINDSOR, (Jan. 22, 2004) — The owner and operator of the Ambassador Bridge at the Windsor, Ont.-Detroit border are scheduled to open a second truck pre-processing centre, which the company says will ease congestion leading up to the bridge crossing.

The centre, which opens Feb. 23, 2004, will be located adjacent to the Canada Customs secondary inspection area on Industrial Drive, about 2.5 km away from the border. The company opened another centre in London Ont. about a year ago to handle traffic approaching Windsor from the east.

The purpose of both centres is to pre-process the paperwork of the 30 per cent of trucks that show up at the border without being set up on any line-release system. These trucks show up at Customs unprocessed, contributing to congestion and long line-ups. “Ninety per cent of secondary inspections involving these trucks usually has nothing to do with the commodity itself, but that (U.S.) Customs has no information on what the commodity is,” says Skip McMahon, spokesman for the Canadian Transit Company, which operates the Canadian side of the bridge.

Trucks using the new Windsor facility will hand over their paperwork, which will then be set up on the Pre-Arrival Processing System (PAPS), and processed before being transmitted to the U.S. broker of record. Trucks will then use a PAPS placard, allowing them access to a dedicated left lane on Huron Church Rd., all the way across the bridge and into Detroit. There drivers present a bar code to U.S. Customs, which scans it to bring up the pre-processed data on their monitor.

“What people may get mixed up on, is that we are not a pre-clearance centre,” McMahon said in an interview with Today’s Trucking. “We are not pre-clearing trucks so they drive directly across the border. All we do is collect and forward information.”

McMahon acknowledges there may be some issues concerning the Windsor facility when U.S. authorities begin enforcing newly enacted Customs pre-notification rules in the next few months. (U.S. Customs requires cargo information electronically half an hour before border arrival for Free and Secure Trade-approved shipments, and one hour for non-FAST shipments).

“That’s the beauty of the London facility for our customers coming from the east,” says McMahon, explaining that those trucks can get pre-processed in London, and abide by the pre-note timeframe by the time they reach the border. “With the time-frames Customs is expecting, at some point that’s going to become a problem for the Windsor centre because it’s only five minutes away.”

Therefore, part of the Windsor facility’s function will be to contact the company responsible for the load, and remind it to send load information by fax at least an hour before the load arrives on any subsequent trips. “If not, when U.S. Customs starts getting strict on this, that that (driver) will have to sit for an hour before going across the border.”

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.