As travelers, we’ve all gone through a security checkpoint. It's a hassle. But please allow me to provide another perspective.
One of my roles at Airspace Technologies is to manage our relationship with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Through constant communication with the TSA, I've come to appreciate the hard work their employees put into keeping us safe. While safety is their core initiative, the TSA has made strides in helping companies like Airspace operate more efficiently so our customers receive the best support possible.
Just like travelers must get to the airport an hour or two before their flight board, so must a courier. In fact, the typical Airspace shipment goes through the same process as a frequent flier except its ticket is an air waybill (AWB).
Efficiently wise, the TSA has done a lot for us at Airspace, including establishing the Indirect Air Carrier Standard Security Program, which streamlines the entire process by standardizing everything. All Airspace must do is abide by these regulations and we won't have a problem. We know exactly what the TSA expects and we train based off of fulfilling those expectations. There are a lot of hoops to jump through, but we now can handle them proactively.
Airspace works with all of our shippers to get them certified with the Known Shipper Management System. KSMS certifies entities that have been vetted and therefore are safe to deal with. This reduces any manual work that would have to be done to vet various shippers. We do it the fastest way; getting all of our shippers certified..
Could the TSA be doing things better?
For sure. No business model is absolutely perfect. But that being said, the TSA is doing amazing things: It continually asks for feedback and advice from the people and companies it serves. I talk to TSA people at least twice a week, and it’s fruitful every time.
The TSA is doing an amazing job. Consider that now, 100 percent of all packages are screened either electronically or by dogs. Not too long ago, the TSA announced screening had to go from 50 percent to 100 percent. Everybody lost it. The consensus: This is going to be chaos. But we got through it and because of that rule, the country is safer.
The TSA is also constantly working to develop and better its internal processes, which ultimately helps Airspace Technologies and our customers. Next year it plans to revamp its entire website, streamlining all of its online tools.
Remember, these inspectors don’t get paid a lot, and they work long hours to keep us safer. A lot of them are retired police officers and military. They don’t enjoy 'hassling' people. They take protecting the United States very seriously which is the most we could ever ask for.