America’s ports are charged to facilitate growing trade while safeguarding national security. However, increases and changes to global trade have outpaced the ports’ capacity to accommodate them – resulting in congestion and delays. Today’s level of demand exceeds the physical infrastructure and operating capacity of our port and our border crossings are not optimally disbursed to minimize congestion. The rate of throughput (rate of movement and pace of verifications across the end-to end border crossing system) has recently suffered a significant lapse. Our intent is to offer an alternative in a model port of entry that will reverse the negative economic trends and respect vital screenings while facilitating trade-two imperative components to strengthening national economic security.
The draft of a 2008 report commissioned by the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, estimated that delays of an average of over one hour at the nation’s five busiest ports of entry result in an average economic output loss to the United States of $116 million per minute. In 2008, those delays cost the U.S. economy $6 billion in output, $1.4 billion in wages, $600 million in tax revenue and 26,000 jobs. The study further found that in Texas, $1.7 billion in output, $490 million in wages and 8,500 jobs are lost annually due to delays at Hidalgo, Laredo and El Paso. Ensuring that neighboring ports of entry have the capacity to alleviate the congestions in these major ports is critical to prevent further economic losses and to maintain the efficient flow of safe and secure trade.