Border Security Efforts Driving Up Freight Rates: Michigan Prof.

Efforts to tighten border security between the United States and Canada is increasing freight rates $1.59 billion dollars annually, according to John Taylor, associate professor of transportation and logistics at Michigan’s Grand Valley State University. Speaking at the 83rd annual Transportation Research Board conference in Washington this week, Taylor said: “Our analysis concludes that total border

Efforts to tighten border security between the United States and Canada is increasing freight rates $1.59 billion dollars annually, according to John Taylor, associate professor of transportation and logistics at Michigan’s Grand Valley State University.

Speaking at the 83rd annual Transportation Research Board conference in Washington this week, Taylor said: “Our analysis concludes that total border costs today post-Sept. 11 total $10.3 billion a year.” He added: “General border costs including customs paperwork, truck inspections, staffing, etc., total $6.28 billion annually, but border crossing delays and the longer transit times that result [from increased security measures] cost a further $4.01 billion per year.” “That’s why cross-border freight rates average $1.59 billion more annually than comparable U.S. domestic freight rates for similar distances.”

Taylor noted, however, that current border security efforts might not be working.

“It is unrealistic to believe that with the level of cross-border trade we have with Canada and the amount of trucks crossing that border that we now have real border security,” he said. “U.S.-Canada trade totaled $328 billion in 2001 and $235 billion of that moved by truck. Yet, today less that 1% of trucks entering the U.S. from Canada are even close to being rigorously inspected.”

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