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Development and Testing of Innovative Non-Invasive Container Screening Methods in the Supply Chain Defense Lab

This project will develop and test innovative, non-invasive container screening methods in the new Supply Chain Defense Lab (SCDLab). The SCDLab research partnership brings the Urban Freight Lab’s deep logistics expertise, global supply chain companies such as SSA Marine and Expeditors International of Washington, together with the UW Center for Conservation Biology Forensic and Detection Dog Programs to solve global supply chain security problems that are priorities for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

This program is funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) which is providing 10 years of research funding to Texas A&M University to lead a consortium of U.S. academic institutions—including UFL and Conservation Biology—in a new national Center of Excellence (COE) for Cross-Border Threat Screening and Supply Chain Defense (CBTS). S&T will provide CBTS with a $3.85 million grant for its first operating year in 2019.

The initial research project will develop and test the effectiveness and efficiency of rapid-throughput canine detection methods and protocols to search containers for biologic contraband at the port.

As a hub of international commerce, Washington State provides an excellent environment to launch this project. The NW Seaport Alliance (Ports of Seattle and Tacoma) manages the nation’s third largest container port operation. In addition to serving as a global maritime gateway for goods entering the U.S, Washington State has high-volume border crossings that connect NW Washington and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, collectively known as the Cascade Gateway. The Gateway is among the busiest and most economically important along the entire northern border. Once in transit, illegal and counterfeit goods, and goods potentially introducing biological threats and vectors for disease, are easily concealed because of the scale of global supply chains. Some of the world’s most endangered species, forests and marine ecosystems are being targeted by transnational criminal organizations, with serious impacts on national and local economies, ecology, global health, and political stability around the world.

In the Media

Technical Report

Cross Border Transportation Patterns at the Western Cascade Gateway and Trade Corridor: Implications for Mitigating the Impact of Delay on Regional Supply Chains

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Publication: Western Washington University Border Policy Research Institute
Publication Date: 2008

This report presents a commercial vehicle profile of transportation patterns and a commodity profile of the primary border crossing along the Western Cascade border region of southwest British Columbia, Canada, and northwest Washington, United States, in particular the corridor between the urban areas of Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle, Washington.

Because of the larger trade volumes along the eastern portion of the U.S.-Canadian border between Michigan, New York, and Ontario, trade research on the northern U.S. border has typically focused on trade along the eastern portion of the border between Michigan, New York, and Ontario, as well as on immigration and customs issues along the southern border with Mexico. As a result, less attention has been given to the western portion of the U.S./Canada border.

This research begins to fill that gap with both a description of regional trade and a description of current delay patterns, consequences of delay, and causes of delay. Using four data sources for comparison—a Global Positioning System (GPS) freight carrier border delay data set, a commercial volume data set (BC MoT), a detailed border operations survey data set, and manifest sampling (WCOG)—the authors consider the linkages among volume, delay, border operations, commercial vehicle origin/destination, and commodities carried to create a commercial vehicle profile at the Cascade Gateway. The data also allow the authors to demonstrate transportation patterns at this gateway and along the trade corridor, and to show that they are very regional in nature.

This research will benefit both public and private stakeholders who are interested in understanding cross-border commercial vehicle commodity flows and transportation patterns in the Cascade gateway and trade corridor, as well as the profile of delay experienced at the Pacific Highway commercial border crossing. Such an understanding can aid in the development of solutions to mitigate border delay and its impacts.

Authors: Dr. Anne Goodchild, Li Leung, Susan Albrecht
Recommended Citation:
Goodchild, A., Albrecht, S., & Leung, L. (2008). Cross Border Transportation Patterns at the Western Cascade Gateway and Trade Corridor: Implications for Mitigating the Impact of Delay on Regional Supply Chains (Research Report No. 6).
Student Thesis and Dissertations

Analysis of Intra- and Inter-Industry Trade Flows of U.S. State – Canadian Province Pairs: Implications for the Cost of Border Delay

Publication Date: 2009

Intra-industry trade (IIT) occurs when trading partners import and export similar products. A high volume of IIT of horizontally differentiated goods implies a deep level of regional integration, stable regional trading patterns, and potentially significant consequences from border delay. In this paper, trade between Washington State and British Columbia, Canada (the Cascade gateway), is compared with trade between Michigan State and Ontario, Canada (the Great Lakes gateway). The Grubel–Lloyd index, which measures IIT, is used to analyze trade in these two corridors. Higher levels of IIT and regional integration within the Great Lakes gateway are shown. The paper argues that cross-border supply chains most exposed to higher cost from increasing border delays are composed of horizontally differentiated manufactured goods having high levels of IIT and relying heavily on truck transportation. These types of goods are more common in the Great Lakes gateway, and this region may therefore experience greater economic impacts from long and unpredictable delays than the Cascade gateway.

The value of trade between the United States and Canada is the highest of that between any two countries worldwide, and Canada is the largest foreign trading partner for 37 of the 50 U.S. states (1, 2). The border between the countries is 5,525 mi, making it the longest common border in the world, with 12 U.S. states bordering seven Canadian provinces (3). The commodities traded in different parts of this border are varied, and so is the nature of that trade. Most of this trade—almost 63% of the total value and 35% of the weight— is moved by trucks, which are often subject to long and unpredictable delays at the border crossings (4). This paper uses the Grubel–Lloyd (GL) index, a measure of intra-industry trade (IIT), to describe the nature of the trade along the U.S.–Canada border and its relation to trade corridors. It is argued that increasing delay for roadway vehicles crossing the borders has different impacts on intra-industry versus interindustry trade and that knowledge of these impacts should be considered in evaluating potential policy solutions to addressing border congestion.

Authors: Kristján Kristjánsson
Recommended Citation:
Kristjánsson, Kristján Árni. "Analysis of Intra-and Inter-industry Trade Flows of US State-Canadian Province Pairs: Implications for the Cost of Border Delay." PhD diss., University of Washington, 2009.
Thesis: Array

A Description of Commercial Cross Border Trips in the Cascade Gateway and Trade Corridor

Publication: Transportation Letters: The International Journal of Transportation Research
Volume: 1(3)
Pages: 213-225
Publication Date: 2009

This paper describes commercial vehicle delay, transportation patterns and the commodity profile at the Western Cascade Gateway, the main border crossing between Southwest British Columbia, Canada, and Northwestern Washington, United States. Using five data sources for comparison—a probe vehicle border crossing time data set, a detailed border operations survey data set, loop detector volume counts, manifest sampling, and data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the transportation, trade, and delay patterns can be synthesized to provide a more complete description of regional freight transportation. This context can be used to consider the impact delay has on regional supply chains, and in developing appropriate freight transportation policy solutions for the border.

Authors: Dr. Anne Goodchild, Susan Albrecht, Li Leung
Recommended Citation:
Goodchild, Anne & Albrecht, Susan & Leung, Li. (2009). A description of commercial cross border trips in the Cascade Gateway and trade corridor. Transportation Letters: The International Journal of Transportation Research. 1. 213-225. 10.3328/TL.2009.01.03.213-225.