Cleveland Centralized Examination Station

Cleveland Centralized Examination Station Experts Explain Customs Exams, Holds

As the Cleveland Centralized Examination Station (CES), we understand the goals of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in examining cargo imported by land, air, and sea. The foremost purpose is keeping our country secure and citizens safe. However, we also fully understand the anxiety that can accompany word that your cargo has been flagged for a U.S. Customs exam – particularly as such action can result in major delays and expense for stakeholders.

Bear in mind that in addition to its own regulations, the CBP is tasked with enforcing hundreds of laws on behalf of 40+ other federal agencies, including the USDA, the FDA, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Understanding what triggers an examination may help you avoid one. At the very least, you’ll know better how to aid authorities in a manner that helps expedite the process and get your goods moving as soon as possible.

That said, not all circumstances that result in a U.S. Customs exam or manifest hold are within shippers’ control. In fact, shippers might do everything “right” and still find their goods among the 3-5% selected for closer inspection.

Some of the holds that authorities can place on international shipments include:

  • Manifest hold. This occurs when there is a problem with documentation. Usually, it’s the result of missing paperwork, such as a bill of lading. Typically, the U.S. Customs agent is going to request additional or corrected paperwork and then your goods will be on their way.
  • CET Hold (A-TECT). This is a hold imposed by the Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team. This is a special branch of the CBP, which imposes holds on shipments suspected of containing potentially unlawful items (drugs, currency, weapons, or other illicit materials).
  • Commercial enforcement hold. This is sort of a blanket hold that is going to cover a range of potential issues – not only from the CBP but other federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The overarching goal is to ensure that any goods entering the country are compliant with federal laws and regulations.
  • PGA Hold. Similar to a commercial enforcement hold, a Participating Government Agencies Hold means the shipment in question was flagged for compliance issues, rather than customs issues.
  • Statistical Valuation Hold. This occurs when there is a discrepancy between your shipment and the manifest. For instance, if the weight of your shipments is much higher than might be anticipated given the commodity, the shipment might be flagged for a statistical valuation hold.

If your shipment is flagged, there can be one of three types of customs exams: Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System (non-intrusive inspection), a Tail Gate Exam (examiner breaks the seal of your container and reviews some of the contents), or an Intensive Customs Exam.

That last type is where a CES comes in. For this kind of exam, your goods must be transported to a CES, unloaded, held, inspected, and then reloaded before heading to its next destination. The shipper must pay for drayage and detention costs, as well as the labor to load and unload and reload. An Intensive Customs Exam may cause up to 30 days in delays and cost up to a few thousand dollars.

Having an efficient Cleveland Centralized Examination Station can help to speed up the Customs inspection process and reduce the amount of time your goods are tied up.

What, Exactly, is a Cleveland Centralized Examination Station?

A CES is a place where Customs officials can come to physically inspect and examine import and export freight and cargo. These are privately-owned and operated facilities (like On Time Delivery & Warehouse) that allow for physical examination of internationally imported or exported goods.

Cleveland warehouse

Bill of Lading Preparation: Leave it to Our Cleveland Warehouse Pros!

A bill of lading is a document that serves as proof a company or carrier received goods from a shipper. It’s a critical record that our Cleveland warehouse professionals know is essential to demonstrating the chain of custody from shipper to carrier. Beyond simple proof of cargo transfer, it establishes a contract between the two parties for the delivery of the goods to the purchasing party or next carrier. They’re often required for many types of land freight shipments, but can also be mandated for air and sea cargo as well. Failure to properly fill out these forms can be costly.

If you’re considering partnering with a Northeast Ohio warehousing and distribution to a third-party logistics company, it’s important to have a solid understanding of what bills of lading are and how they’re prepared. Chances are, it will be an aspect of your operations you’ll also want to outsource.

What Exactly is in a Bill of Lading (BOL)? 

Bills of lading, sometimes called BOL, are nothing new. In fact, they go all the way back to at least the 16th century, when they were routinely used to track ship cargo movements. Back then, it was pretty basic: An inventory check and the signatures of the shipper and carrier.

Today, the general idea is the same, but with all the various modes of transport, warehousing, and distribution (not to mention evolving technology), the particulars are quite a bit more involved.

Cleveland warehouse management

Good Warehouse Management Key to Improved Product Flow

Inbound and outbound logistics are among the most complicated functions of running any business. Effective warehouse management is essential to these processes. Get it wrong, and you’ll be stuck with low staff morale, poor customer satisfaction and dwindling profit margins. Get it right, and you set your business up for success with reduced losses and delays and improved product flow.

At On Time Delivery & Warehouse, we understand that the best warehouse management and distribution practices include more than just moving and tracking goods. Communication, transparency, honesty, responsiveness and the willingness to always go the extra mile are also imperative. As a third-party logistics (3PL) provider, we wear many hats in order to offer our customers an all-in-one solution.

Cleveland 3PL

Cleveland 3PL Services Offer Ways to Go Green – and Save Green

As Cleveland 3PL (third-party logistics) providers, we understand that what’s good for the environment is also good for overall supply chain sustainability. Partnering with a dedicated 3PL provider in itself can help companies make the most of transportation and warehouse capacity while also reducing adverse environmental impacts. That’s because we can streamline processes and resource usage.

Although eco-friendly practices sometimes have a reputation for being pricier and more time-consuming (at least in the short term), the reality is that more sustainable strategies in packaging, warehousing and transportation often have the added benefit of lowering your costs and time investment. Some of the economic goals that improve environmental outcomes include reducing the aggregate distance traveled by each unit, eliminating the unnecessary use of resources, moving inventory faster and being as responsive as possible to customer demand.

The logistics sector in general has long been on the cutting edge of green innovation because economy and efficiency go hand-in-hand with minimizing waste. Companies that nurture a sense of sustainability can often find a great deal of common ground between greater social responsibility and lowered expenses.