LOS ANGELES —Today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in partnership with Custom Specialized Services, introduced the first-in-the-nation dedicated Air Centralized Examination Station (A-CES) at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
A ribbon cutting ceremony marked the commencement of operations of the new 40,000 sq. ft facility which will expedite e-commerce shipments arriving internationally while efficiently intercepting illicit goods. Since the beginning of the pandemic e-commerce importations at LAX experienced an unprecedented growth of over 700%.
“In support of the economy recovery efforts, the new cargo processing space streamlines the unprecedented volume of e-commerce shipments at LAX, while ensuring the highest levels of national security,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “By expediting the commercial flow of legitimate goods, this CBP innovation will have an immediate economic multiplier effect.”
Until now, cargo was examined by dispatching CBP Officers to more than 87 different bonded warehouses to perform required examinations; some located as far as 11 miles from the CBP port office.
To meet CBP’s mission needs and expedite cargo exams, the A-CES is fitted with non-intrusive inspection technology which will streamline the validation and clearance process, further fostering the commercial flow of legitimate commercial goods.
“We are extremely proud of our partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Custom Specialized Services’ vision is to be the leading provider of customized supply chain solutions, through innovation, partnership and service to the freight forwarder and custom broker community,” said Tony Gregory, CEO Custom Specialized Services.
In Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, the port processed 53 million e-commerce shipments, a 657% increase from 7 million the year before.
As of August 31, of this fiscal year, the port has processed over 131 million e-commerce shipments, a 147% increase from all of Fiscal Year 2020.
While the vast majority of importers follow U.S. laws and regulations, transnational crime organizations are constantly attempting to circumvent the system by hiding their contraband under the massive flow of legitimate shipments.
“The response to this challenge is the consolidation of our cargo exams at a centralized location, said Cheryl Davies,” CBP Port Director of the Los Angeles International Airport. “This consolidation will allow CBP officers to efficiently facilitate legitimate shipments while stopping and seizing illicit goods.”
CBP LAX cargo operations processes 40% of the nation’s volume of low-value shipments, or Section 321 shipments. The new facility will allow CBP officers to efficiently process over 15,000 shipments every day.