West of the Atlantic, there are two big logistics bottlenecks. One is the US border with Canada (where documentary requirements make in-transit goods a cumbersome process). The other is the US border with Mexico, where there have been long standing conflicts over cross-border trucking. East of the Atlantic, you have EU security programs that are not compatible with US programs, and also make for bottlenecks.
In the last few weeks, progress has been made on two of the three big bottlenecks as the US reaches agreement with Mexico on cross-border trucking and agrees to mutual supply chain recognition with the EU.
As per the article in Logistics Management, on Wednesday, July 6, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Mexico’s Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes Dionisio Arturo Pèrez-Jàcome Friscione signed documents to resolve the long standing conflicts between the trucking industries of the two countries that resulted from the elimination of the pilot program for cross-border trucking in 2009 as part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act. (In response to the act, the Mexican government stated it would place tariffs on roughly 90 American agricultural and manufactured exports as payback. The tariffs amounted to $2.4 Billion of American goods.)
The agreement, focussed on a safety-first program, will lift these tariffs and provide opportunities to increase Mexico-bound US exports and create job opportunities. Furthermore, Mexico will provide recriprocal authority for US carriers to engage in cross-border long-haul operations in that country.
In addition, as per this article in JOC Sailings, the US and EU plan to implement mutual recognition of their supply chain security programs by the end of October. Specifically, mutual recognition between CBP’s C-TPAT and EU’s AEO program will occur, as per the joint statement between the European Commission and the US Department of Homeland Security. Once this is achieved, cargo will flow more smoothly between the US and the EU.