Be Bold – Women in Transportation Recap

posted by Jennifer Diaz February 14, 2013 0 comments

Pictured above from left to right: Natalie Putman, Michelle Livingstone, Jennifer Diaz, Monica Wooden, Andy Funk

Bold is the operative word of the day. 250 people gathered at Miami Dade College today to hear about educational and career opportunities for women and minorities in the transportation/supply chain industry. The event was put on in collaboration with the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT-South Florida), and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP). The audience was composed of high school and college students as well as industry professionals. The message was incredibly positive, after all, trade is booming. Jennifer Diaz, Partner & Chair of Becker & Poliakoff’s Customs and International Trade Department, cited U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) statistics from its recent import trade trends, stating CBP processed 2.38 trillion worth of imported goods in 2012, up 5% from 2011. The top trading 5 partners, in order, include China, Canada, Mexico, Japan and Germany.

The audience heard from an all-star lineup composed of: Michelle Livingstone, Vice President of Supply Chain/Transportation at the Home Depot, Natalie Putnam, Vice President of Marketing at Ryder System, Inc., Monica Wooden, CEO & Founder of MercuryGate International, Inc., Andy Funk, CEO & Treasurer of Cambridge-Lee Industries, and was moderated by Jennifer Diaz.
The educational opportunities in Supply Chain at Miami Dade are extremely promising. Miami Dade announced two new degree programs it plans to offer, an Associate of Science in Transportation and Logistics, expected to roll out Fall 2013, and a Bachelor of Applied Science, expected to roll out Fall 2014. Michelle Livingstone elaborated on the importance of education and said “education can never be taken away from you,” when motivating the audience to say yes when fortunate to have a company pay for higher education opportunities. “Only 10% of women choose careers in supply chain as a major in college, it is ripe for women,” continued Michelle. 
Michelle inspired the audience with her road to success, which included a map filled with 10 different locations all over the U.S. where Michelle had worked. “Sometimes you have to relocate to get ahead,” said Michelle. Michelle made it clear and matter of fact that “women must work harder to succeed then men,” and success “is 80% attitude and 20% aptitude.”
Natalie Putnam introduced a new concept, stating “problem finders” are tremendously valuable. Not problem solvers, but, instead, problem finders. Those that have the aptitude to find problems are much more so needed by organizations to evolve. Natalie commented that there are “multiple paths to success” and “1 in 9 people every day are in sales jobs” – a quote taken from Daniel Pink. Natalie discussed the importance and existence of the sale function in every line of work.
“It was encouraging to see so many women interested in the dynamic and growing supply chain field. The speakers were inspirational in sharing their experiences and how they navigated through and were successful in traditionally male dominated careers,” said Andy Funk.


CBPCustoms BrokerEventsFreight ForwardingImportOWITSpeaking

Careers for Women in Transportation

posted by Jennifer Diaz February 4, 2013 0 comments

"Be Bold! Women in Transportation" will feature prominent women in the transportation, logistics and supply chain management industry. The purpose of the event is to inform about career opportunities and attract women and minorities to the transportation industry. 

I’m thrilled to moderate this event where you’ll hear from top notch keynote speakers, Michelle Livingstone, VP of Supply Chain/Transportation at The Home Depot and Natalie Putnam, VP of Marketing at Ryder.

Join us to learn answers to the following questions:

  1. Why aren’t more women choosing Supply Chain/Transportation as a career?
  2. How will jobs in Supply Chain/Transportation evolve over the next few years?
  3. What does the logistics function look like within a manufacturing/distribution business? 
  4. How have energy prices affected the Transportation Industry?
  5. What impact does the changing demographics of the US have on opportunities for women in the supply chain field?

  6. What is the role of sales and marketing in supply chain, logistics and transportation?

  7. What is changing in business culture and what do  companies need to do to acquire talent?

  8. What are the skills needed to be successful in the field of logistics today?

  9. Why is a career in supply chain a good choice? 

The cost of luncheon is $30 in advance and $40 at the door. Click HERE to register. 

For more information contact Jorge Guerra.



What You Missed at the C-TPAT Conference

posted by Jennifer Diaz January 18, 2013 0 comments

The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism is a voluntary government-business initiative that builds cooperative relationships that strengthen and improve overall international supply chain and U.S. border security. C-TPAT is widely recognized as one of the most effective means of providing the highest level of cargo security through close cooperation with international supply chain businesses such as importers, carriers, consolidators, licensed customs brokers, and manufacturers. At CBP’s C-TPAT Conference held on January 8-9, 2013, CBP announced major updates to C-TPAT – lucky for you, I’ve recapped the highlights for you below.

Trusted Trader Program

  • CBP proposes to combine CBP’s ISA program with C-TPAT.  Additionally, if importers choose to be part of the Trusted Trader Program, they can take advantage of “joint validations” with other government agencies (OGA’s).  CBP and TSA have already been performing joint validations for 9 months.  Trade is concerned that OGA’s will go on fishing expeditions while validating and no guarantees have been made from CBP that OGA’s won’t. This is a major concern for some (rightfully so!).
  • CBP is seeking comments regarding its new Trusted Trader Program. Please email any comments here.

Internal Conspiracies

Top conspiracy indicators to look for are:

  • Anyone taking photos of entrances, fencing, hours of operation, etc..
  • Anyone interested in stow plans, employee schedules, transit routes, and GPS
  • Anyone in financial distress
  • Anyone attempting to access a system that they have no authorization to access
  • Anyone showing up to work on a day off or with large bags
  • Anyone entering restricted zones without access

Container Inspection

Use the VVTT process:

  • View seal and container locking hardware
  • Verify seal #
  • Tug on seal to make sure it is on right
  • Twist and turn seal to make sure it doesn’t unscrew.

Most Common Areas of Failed Criteria:

  • Conveyance Security – tracking an monitoring                    51%
  • Container Security – sealing/ container inspection               49%
  • Business Partners – screening and subcontracting              46%
  • Personnel Security – background checks                            31%

SW Border Strategies 

  • 86% of the time the drivers are responsible and have some involvement in conspiracies
  • There were 41 seizures representing C-TPAT companies in 2012
  • There are 160 underground tunnels from Mexico the U.S. or Canada to the U.S.

Evidence of Implementation

Suspensions and removals from January 2002-November 2012:

  • 403 importers suspended due to validation issues
  • 339 were removed from C-TPAT

CBP expects:

  • C-TPAT Manuals including all minimum security procedures
  • Documentation of audits, checklists, appropriate training
  • Assurance that all documentation is uploaded into the portal
  • Checklists to be uploaded that are filled out (blank forms will no longer be acceptable)
  • Photo and video evidence of implementation may be requested
  • If you DON’T contact your CBP Supply Chain Security Specialist (SCSS) when illegal activity is detected, it is a STRIKE against you

Visitor logs

  • Only for unknown visitors
  • Don’t let visitors sign themselves in!

C-TPAT Portal 2.0 

  • Expect changes to the portal in the summer, it’s in early prototype stages now
  • You will not have to be a C-TPAT member to create a user account
  • SVI numbers will go away, tracking will be done using a business name and type
  • Members will have the ability to share documents
  • The new structure will give you the ability to combine common security practices, this is beneficial if you have more than one user account

Thomas Winkowski, Acting COO of CBP 

  • Over 55% of goods entering the U.S. are from C-TPAT certified partners
  • CBP is pushing for more Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA’s)
  • CBP currently has 7 MRA’s in place
  • MRA’s on the horizon with Taiwan, China, Israel and Mexico

Kevin McAleenan, Acting Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations (OFO) 

  • CBP is working on advancing benefits to C-TPAT members
  • New CBP Director Lauren Koffer was announced!  

Dan Baldwin, Executive Director


Currently CBP has:

  • 10,452 certified partners
  • 158 – CBP staffing level
  • 328 – Tier 3 IOR’s
  • 22,223 – Total Validations Completed since inception

Concern regarding budget and number of validations CBP will be able to complete for FY13

  • In 2012 there were 822 new companies that applied for C-TPAT & 693 of those were certified

Barry Brandman, President, Danbee Investigations


Top 5 best practices:

  1. Must enlist senior management support
  2. Culture and security excellence (Don’t meet standards, exceed them)
  3. Apply checks and balances throughout (Anticipate that your first line of defense will fail)
  4. Strategically utilize security technology
  5. Diligently audit safeguards to expose weaknesses

If you have questions regarding submitting a C-TPAT application, C-TPAT validations, advancing in tier status, or any pending C-TPAT program changes, feel free to contact me.   


Seminars – Importing Food Into the United States

posted by Customs & International Trade Law Blog October 27, 2010 0 comments

The Customs and International Trade Department of the law firm of Becker & Poliakoff* regularly holds workshops. Attendees learn the most recent information regarding compliance with the import and export requirements of the various Federal agencies of the United States Government.  Our next workshops will focus on one of my favorite subjects – FOOD, and its increasing regulation by the FDA.  The workshops take place in both Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

The 2010 Import/Export Fall Workshop Series hosted in cooperation with the Office of Economic Development  & International Trade of Miami-Dade County  (OEDIT) is entitled "Importing Food into the United States for International Trade Professionals".  The speakers are from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Miami Imports Branch and ABC Research Corp., a food testing laboratory, and the Customs and International Trade Department.  The presentation will be from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 4, at the Miami Free Zone. The workshop will focus on food, but also include cosmetics, medical devices, and dietary supplements, all of which are also regulated by the FDA.  For more information, you may contact me or the OEDIT at 305-375-1254 or e-mail oedit@miamidade.govThe seminar is open only to Miami-Dade County companies.

On Tuesday, November 16, 2010, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., at the Port Everglades Administration Building, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, my law firm, in cooperation with Broward County’s Office of Economic and Small Business Development, and the City of Hollywood, will host "Importing Food Products in Compliance with FDA and U.S. Customs Rules".  The seminar is open to all persons and companies.  Registration for the seminar may be easily done on-line.  The seminar is interactive, and focuses on practical "what you need to know" information.  Handouts and real-life scenarios will be discussed regarding detentions by the FDA, liquidated damage claims by CBP, refusals by the FDA because a company is on an Import Alert, Nutrition Facts labeling and medical claims,  Bioterrorism Act registration of food facilities, etc.

I look forward to seeing you at both excellent seminars above.  Importers, customs brokers, attorneys, consultants, and anyone involved in the importation and logistics businesses will benefit.

*Becker & Poliakoff was honored to be listed in the 2010 U.S. News & World Report review of law firms in the area of FDA Law.