AI plays pivotal role in US customs brokerage modernization: Raft CTO

Industry representatives gathered to discuss methods to reimagine customs processes using digital solutions at the Northern Border Customs Brokers Association Fall Conference.

AI plays pivotal role in US customs brokerage modernization: Raft CTO

(Left to right): Nisarg Mehta, CTO & co-founder, Raft; Megan Montgomery, executive vice president, National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA); Lionel van der Walt, chief growth officer, Raft; Karen Damon, president, NBCBA & director, customs brokerage import compliance US regulatory affairs, Livingston International; JD Gonzalez, president, NCBFAA.

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is essential to achieving greater levels of operational efficiency, accuracy, and transparency within customs brokerage, says Nisarg Mehta, chief technology officer and co-founder of intelligent logistics platform Raft.

Speaking to delegates at the Northern Border Customs Brokers Association (NBCBA) Fall Conference, Mehta spoke about the value of AI in transforming customs tasks.

"Imagine customs brokers shifting from manual data entry to using AI-driven solutions that automate this type of work and help them identify discrepancies in a timely way when every second on the clock counts," Mehta remarked.

“Harnessing AI is not just about automation; it's about elevating our ability to ensure compliance, bolster security, and refine customer service."

Such a shift is embodied by new plans announced by the U.S Customs Border Protection to re-engineer its customs system, the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), in order to harness both new and future technologies for enhanced supply chain visibility.

This ambitious new platform, ACE 2.0., promises to re-imagine the international exchange of trade data, positioning the U.S. at the forefront of global customs modernization.

"By using AI and machine learning to quickly analyze and understand various customs documents, from certificates of origin to commercial invoices and packing lists, we not only enhance data quality and unearth real-time insights in a cost-effective manner but also ensure greater accuracy and operational agility as goods journey to the U.S. border," Mehta elaborated.

The collective efforts by both industry and government entities, as highlighted at the conference, highlight the vital role of AI and digitalization in steering the industry towards modernization, ensuring better outcomes and underlining the importance of interoperable software solutions in this transformation.

“As advocates for Northern Border brokerage, we recognize the importance in advancing digitalization. Raft's AI solutions exemplify this drive, emphasizing the importance of evolving with technology," said Karen Damon, president at NBCBA.

Mehta's upcoming participation at WESCCON in California, from 26th – 29th October 2023, will see him deliver a keynote as well as join expert panellists to further discuss how AI is redefining customs procedures and supply chain execution.

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