Customs paperwork causes delays for government contractor

Misfiled customs paperwork is to blame for delays in the delivery of service members' cars.

Misfiled customs paperwork is to blame for delays in the delivery of service members' cars.

The Defense Department's new shipping contractor, International Auto Logistics (IAL), reported last week that holdups at customs were to blame for the delay in the delivery of service members' vehicles. 

It seems that some cars, like Range Rovers, require extra inspection at U.S. Customs, and IAL was shipping 200 vehicles at a time. This meant that all 200 cars on the list would be delayed whenever one car in the group required extra inspection time. To solve this problem, IAL is now filing potentially problematic cars individually and submitting group lists composed of no more than 10 vehicles. This is expected to greatly reduce customs waiting times and improve overall customer satisfaction.

"Our mission is to deliver these vehicles on time," Ken Quinn, senior vice president and chief financial officer of IAL, told online magazine "We know there's a lot of unhappy service members, clearly there's no doubt about that. And we know there have been a lot of issues. Things are improving."

The IAL call center is currently receiving about 350 customer calls a day, which is down from 1,700 daily calls in early August. The company says it is confident it can pick up its performance and renew its relationships with service members by actively solving problems and increasing operational efficiency. IAL officials also reported that late paperwork from ocean carriers added to the delays, and that the company is cooperating with the various parties involved to smooth out bumps in the process.

"We're trying to change our procedure," Quinn added. "We're going to try to make sure the paperwork is there."

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