The AQUA Lane program concept is a "fast lane" for containers. The program will allow C-TPAT qualified ocean carriers and terminal operators to apply for "Advanced Qualified Unlading Approval" a minimum of 24 hours prior to estimated arrival. This amounts to allowing vessel cargoes to be "pre-cleared" by CBP 12 hours prior to estimated arrival, instead of having to wait for a CBP officer to board and clear the ship.
Expected benefits include allowing sea carriers to better predict unlading times for labor cost purposes, quicker turnaround time in port, and allowing CBP to better allocate resources and manpower as necessary. If the pilot works well CBP may consider rolling this initiative out to other seaports later this year.
As more information and pilot results become available we will update our web site and this article.