Concerned about stringent new security measures being proposed by different nations, a group of shipper organizations with representatives from around the world is urging governments not to strangle trade growth. The Tripartite Shippers Group, which includes organizations from North America, Europe and Asia, in a joint declaration said, "To the most practicable extent possible, these security measures must be compatible and fashioned in such a way that world commerce is not the unintended victim in this process."
Shippers and carriers have repeatedly voiced concerns that proposed security measures could disrupt the flow of goods. For example, Chris Mahoney, senior vice president of global transportation services for UPS, told a group of business leaders in Detroit in September that new advance notification rules imposed by the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection had the potential to slow commerce considerably—particularly where time-sensitive air and express shipments were concerned. "Some of the country's largest manufacturers, transportation companies, and importers and exporters are worried that the changes could cost more than the government estimates—and cause more disruption to the flow of commerce than federal officials are anticipating," he said.
Addressing that same issue, the Tripartite Shippers Group called for the establishment of a standard security framework for the world's major trading partners. It also urged that any security programs allow for costs to be equitably shared among all parties involved. The full text of the group's joint statement can be found at www.nitl.org/joint03.pdf.