With the launch of Custom and Border Protection’s (CBP) new Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) centralized access window, the regulatory agency also established commodity specialists and developed commodity Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEE). These entities have much more access to information—and are extraordinarily informed about commodities—much, much more informed than they have ever been.  This is especially true because the compliance and enforcement environment is highly fluid and ever-changing.

Shapiro, a 102-year-old leader in global transportation and regulatory compliance, decided the best way to protect its customers was to mirror this philosophy.

We proudly introduce the Shapiro Centers of Excellence (SCE).

Over the past year, Shapiro identified customer and commodities that we believed would be best served in our new model—those that have complex regulatory requirements with emphasis is on customers who import consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, textiles and food and beverage products.

What does this mean?

Shapiro has established seasoned entry teams that are experts in the specific commodity and focus strictly on the entry process and entry requirements. Supporting this group is our Compliance team that is organized similarly, proactively researching changes that may affect importers and the Company, educating all parties with changes occurring in trade. This model ensures Shapiro presents the best product; it also puts our clients in an excellent position to challenge a CEEs whenever the situation arises.

To further maximize the effects of this model, Shapiro is changing its geographical footprint and has taken a more centralized approach— domiciling teams under one roof, providing the scalability necessary to successfully deliver consistent results. Shapiro’s Baltimore headquarters and Charleston office will house Shapiro’s Centers of Excellence. While the Company’s new Maryland upgrade afforded the space to make this happen, Charleston needed to expand and has been relocated to larger quarters.

Shapiro also recognizes that all business is not a good fit for this new model and will still offer our traditional “soup to nuts” operational design based on client preference.

Modern business is much less about location than about technology; Customs’ approach to entry processing and enforcement has reinforced this point.  In 2017, it makes tremendous sense to us to leverage both our technological capabilities and our regulatory expertise to further execute the model that will best serve our customers.