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What is the ACE portal?
  • CBP reviews information manually entered by carriers in the ACE portal prior to the truck’s arrival at the border.

The Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) portal requires the manual entry of shipping information. The secured portal allows for some elements (drivers, units) to be stored and reused on the site, but many items that are unique to each shipment must be keyed in each time. The data items that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reviews in advance of arriving at the border include the description of the goods, quantity, tractor/trailers, and driver.

The ACE portal requires data elements included in most dispatch software, but due to the nature of the portal, it must be entered manually and cannot be uploaded from these existing programs. Use of company software would have to meet specifications and be connected to the CBP’s Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to import information.

Economic advantages

To some, this keying in of information is time-consuming, cumbersome, and a duplication of processes since much of the information is contained in-house in other software applications. But for the small or mid-sized organization, or the occasional border carrier, it may be a more economical means to satisfy the requirement versus investing in the purchase or development of software.