Every industry has its acronyms. They’re thrown about with abandon and, like jargon terms, are often used to establish an almost-unfair sort of credibility. Unknown terms have a way of making their users sound impressive, but that comes at the expense of the uninitiated who are often left confused and unable to appreciate their meaning.
While we at Canfab use the internationally recognized acronyms PIP and CTPAT to refer to our trusted status as an exporter at the Canadian-American border, we realize that most people don’t know what those acronyms refer to nor the significance behind those jumble of letters. But they are significant and understanding what they mean can guide your decision when choosing a manufacturer.
CTPAT refers to the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, a part of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) strategy to strengthen international supply chains and improve border security. Participation is voluntary and companies, whether they be importers/exporters, highway carriers, rail and sea carriers, freight consolidators, manufacturers, or any other transportation-related entity, work with the CBP to achieve their goals of safe and efficient transport of goods. CTPAT partners are vetted upon application and are thus considered low risk, allowing them to get through customs and security faster and more effectively than non-partners, which in turn makes choosing a CTPAT partner a smart move.
PIP stands for Partners in Protection and is like CTPAT except it’s in partnership with the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA). The goal of the PIP program is similar as well, with the aim to strengthen security of both the Canadian-American border and the trade chain. Participation is voluntary and member businesses are recognized as “trusted traders”, allowing them to make transporting goods across the border more efficient.
As a CTPAT partner and a PIP member, Canfab is a trusted manufacturer and exporter, and is therefore less likely to suffer from a border issue or delay than non-partners or members. In addition, both CTPAT and PIP are recognized in countries all over the world, boosting participants’ trusted status even further.
Understanding these acronyms arms you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision about the companies you trust with transport, especially cross-border. And you don’t have to look confused the next time those letters come up.