Monday Sessions at NCBFAA 30th Annual Conference

Tom Mathers
Phone: (202) 466-0222
For Immediate Release

Washington, DCThe National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, Inc. (NCBFAA) will address topics ranging from personal growth to management and strategies during the Monday, March 22, sessions at its 30th Annual Conference slated for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Themed "Security Imperatives and the Bottom Line: Meeting the Challenge," the 2004 Conference is scheduled to run from March 21-24.
       Entertainer and TV personality, Ross Shafer, six-time Emmy winner and host of the Match Game, will deliver the Keynote Breakfast Address, "Nobody Moved Your Cheese - Success Is All Your Fault" from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. With good humor and penetrating insight, Mr. Shafer will debunk the popular culture approach to self - actualization. Taking on the icons of the speaking circuit and best sellers’ list, he will reveal the true character of motivation. It’s tough love with a twist, delivered by a quick wit with a light touch on what we’ve all been told is a very weighty subject. For Mr. Shafer, there is no sleight of hand or extraneous forces; "nobody moved your cheese – success is all your fault." Join us for breakfast and learn how to feed yourself.
       Two concurrent sessions will fill the afternoon. During the first time slot, 1:30 to 3 p.m., carrier services and company management will be the focus.
       "Carrier Customer Services - Rationalizing the Costs" will look at developments in this critical segment. Driven by the capital-intensive nature of this transportation sector, the past decade has been a time of consolidation in the ocean carrier industry. To reduce overhead, some carriers have moved operational divisions away from ports of discharge to inland regional service centers. Where these new service centers have been staffed by inexperienced or poorly trained people, with little or no experience of vessel and port operations, much of the costs for support services to those who are customers of both the carriers and NCBFAA members, has fallen to our trade sector. This may look good on the carriers’ books, and prove transparent to our customers, but as a way to rationalization costs, it is not very appealing to NCBFAA. Additionally, escalating per diem and demurrage charges, not necessarily proportional to actual costs, and occasioned by Government holds over which we have no control, are proving difficult to rationalize.
       This will be an open panel discussion with representatives from ocean carriers to discuss problems experienced by brokers and forwarders in dealing with carrier operational staff in attempting to service our mutual clients. It will also explore problems that the carriers are experiencing in this area with the customs brokerage and forwarding industry. How might we work together to fairly rationalize the costs and enhance support services to our mutual customers?
       "Internal Audit & Employee Training - The Perfect Marriage" focuses on efficiencies in these areas. A roundtable discussion on how different size firms in our profession tackle the issues of compliance self audit and employee training. The theme will be the leveraging of expenses and use of audit findings, not simply as a critical assessment of operational shortcomings, but in as an immediate and positive input for tailoring staff training. The delivery of content in this session is planned to emulate the workshop format developed in the optional Thursday programs for the 2002 and 2003 annual conferences. This interactive approach is intended to maximize audience participation in what is hope will be a valuable learning experience for all. It should be a share and share alike effort to gain insight and ideas, featuring and communally developing best practices for various business environments. 
       The second time slot, 3:30 to 5 p.m., for concurrent sessions, analyses release mechanisms and corporate strategies.
       The group of experts we've gathered for the "Brokerage at the Border - Getting the Job Done" workshop will focus on the various import release mechanisms, such as FAST, BCS, PAPS, Pre file, BRASS, In bonds and the variations of those themes created by OGA requirements in both the southern and northern border environments. We intend to focus on these in a round table setting after brief over views by each panelist. Finally, we plan to open up the discussion on both the problems of "front loading" the process in the border environment as well as the challenge of uniformity among our border crossings, especially in light of the CBP proposal to regionalize.
       "Supply Chain Logistics & Global Trade Compliance Solutions" reviews the rise of logistics/transportation to the forefront of corporate strategy. The events of 9/11 have further heightened security concerns, both national and corporate. A system to manage your global trade and logistics needs with technology in the most cost-effective manner is critical. Drive efficiencies, build better visibility and ensure security throughout your extended supply chain/logistics network. This session will explore the following:

  • Building a secure and compliant supply chain
  • The crucial role of supply chain milestone modeling
  • Adapt or perish – The confluence of GTM, logistics and supply chain services
  • Evaluate "buy" vs. "build" options
  • Benefits of software vs. managed services vs. web services

       With headquarters in Washington, DC, the NCBFAA ( represents nearly 700 member companies - the nation's leading freight forwarders, customs brokers, ocean transportation intermediaries (OTIs) and air cargo agents. Established in 1897 in New York, NCBFAA is the strong, effective national voice of the industry. Through its various committees, counsel and representatives, the Association maintains a close watch over legislative and regulatory issues that affect its members. It keeps them informed of these and other related issues through its weekly Monday Morning eBriefingQuarterly NCBFAA Bulletin, and various meetings and conferences throughout the year.


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