While a small number of air forwarding customers remain concerned about the Transportation Security Administration's 100 percent screening rule, most seem to be adapting, according to a new survey by the Airforwarders Association.
As of Aug.1, TSA put into effect rules requiring that all cargo moving aboard passenger aircraft be screened before loading. During the first week, 67 percent of the indirect air carriers that responded to an association survey reported no problems at all. Another 28 percent reported "minor startup glitches."
A second survey taken this month indicated that about 10 percent of forwarders' customers remained "very worried" about the new rules. Forwarders said that about an equal number of customers were not concerned about the added cost, or "grudgingly" accepted the charges. Some 6.4 percent said they were "very upset" with the costs.
The survey shows that some forwarders are opting for shipping aboard all-cargo carriers that are not subject to the same screening rule. Some 42.6 percent said they occasionally shipped on all-cargo craft, or were doing so on routes where all-cargo carriage was an option.
When it came to shipments on skids, nearly half of the forwarders said that air carriers lacked uniformity in the way they handled them. However, forwarders could not point to a discernable pattern by airport or air carrier.
Most forwarders said they left screening responsibilities to the airline, although 37.4 percent said they were using in-house facilities or independent screeners, and 17 percent said they used a combination of options.
Nearly three-quarters of those forwarders that established in-house screening said they were satisfied with their decision. Some 35 percent of respondents to the survey said they would like to have in-house screening but don't have the volume to justify the expense.
Forwarders are sufficiently satisfied with the existing screening program that they don't want Congress to change it. Proposed legislation would have TSA setting up its own screening facilities, but forwarders said it would be a waste of money.
-- Contact R.G. Edmonson at email@example.com.