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NCBFAA In the News 

NCBFAA Says Infrastructure Dominated DHS Supply Chain Meeting

Dec 14, 2023 | Susan Bailey

 International Trade Today for December 12, 2023

National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America President J.D. Gonzalez saidrepresentatives from the rail industry and ports, and Homeland Security officials, including Undersecretary Robert Silvers, had a good discussion on how to optimize supply chain flows, but he hopes the group willmeet quarterly and delve “a little bit deeper into some of the processes” needed to make the advisory group effective.

The representatives from the private sector offered input on how the newly established DHS SupplyChain Resilience Center (see 2311270007) can focus efforts to best serve the private sector involved in international trade, the group said.  Gonzalez, who participated in the roundtable discussion on Dec. 12, said infrastructure dominated the discussions, including the use of cranes at ports made in China, and the desire to replace those with domestic cranes. He said they talked about the plans for a second bridge at the Port of Laredo, since thecurrent bridge is at 85% capacity, and cargo traffic increases 5% annually.

Gonzalez said the money for the second bridge is appropriated, but there have been “some delays”
in progressing toward a groundbreaking. “Hopefully, they can continue the planning without having to stop
for environmental processes,” he said. He said the bridge is supposed to be finished within five to 10 years.

Although supply chain congestion no longer is making headlines, Gonzalez said “there are still areasof concern,” though it’s mainly a lack of appropriate infrastructure. He said intermodal chassis shortagesdidn’t come up during the meeting, but he has experienced that problem personally at the Port of Houston.

The group didn’t set a schedule for future meetings, but they did say they plan to meet again. —ML

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