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Quicker access to AMS data means quicker release of cargo, fewer fines, smoother operations.
When ocean carriers began filing their import manifests electronically, the chief benefit was the reduction of paperwork by U.S. Customs.
Now the benefits are being spread farther down the transportation chain.
Customs is beginning to allow data from its Automated Manifest System to be sent directly to railroads, truck lines and warehouses, and distribution centers.
The faster information flow is expected to result in quicker delivery times for inbond shipments, fewer fines for late Customs paperwork, and tighter control of inventory.
The development is being hailed as a milestone in efforts to turn AMS into a system with commercial applications.
"The system is starting to jell," said Hans Wieting, senior systems consultant for Sea-Land.
"It's becoming an intermodal system," said Kim Santos, chief of …