Customs and Border Protection
RTR’s studies, analysis and simulation models serve as a template for infrastructure planning and optimization of resources as required by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Our findings are reported to Customs and Border Protection to assist in their decision making process to manage and secure the borders. RTR has visited virtually all ports-of-entry to collect data to analyze the effectiveness of new technologies and to develop simulation modeling to analyze land border logistics and processing procedures.
Notable CBP Projects:
3D Visualizations – SIMPort Development
RTR recently completed development of 3D worlds for five land ports of entry crossings to allow Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) management to “walk through” the inspection facilities. CBP is able to see how proposed modifications to infrastructure and operational processes affect the crossing in a simulation environment prior to implementing in the real world. Modeling simulation results were used to drive pedestrian and vehicle movements through the 3D world, with the ability to load various scenarios based on the client’s needs.
Border Wait Time
In recent years, the reported wait time for entering the U.S. by land has become a sensitive issue to local communities and trade organizations. This is especially the case in areas with multiple border crossings such as Detroit, MI, Buffalo, NY and El Paso, TX where the traveler is given options on which crossing to use. RTR was tasked to evaluate new automated wait time reporting technologies that will alleviate the work required by CBP officers to calculate and report the hourly wait times, as well we increase the accuracy of the reporting.
Land Border Optimization Group
To better address individual land port of entries’ needs, CBP established the Land Border Optimization Group (LBOG). This group serves as a centralized forum in which to address efficiency and policy challenges that ports may face as security is enhanced nationwide. RTR’s role in the LBOG is to serve as SMEs that can quickly develop a solution to an issue, draft a plan and implement it with minimal cost and schedule impacts. Recent optimization plans RTR has supported include:
- The reengineering of Pedestrian entry in Laredo, TX
- A concept design for adding additional vehicle capacity in Port Huron, MI
- The study of a dedicated RFID lane in Detroit, MI and El Paso, TX
Field Data Collection & Analysis
In support of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), RTR was tasked to evaluate the operational impacts resulting from proposed changes in document requirements, operational practices, and new technologies. This initiative requires all citizens of the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Bermuda to have a valid passport or other accepted document that establishes the bearer’s identity and nationality to enter or re-enter the United States within the Western Hemisphere.
RTR analysts performed time and motion studies, interviewed CBP management and stakeholders, and utilized simulation modeling. Prior to the full launch of the study, discussions and meetings were held with CBP Headquarters subsequent to site visits and survey design to clarify study objectives and state modeling assumptions. Each port-of-entry was visited, observed and surveyed during normal operating conditions. Team members recorded detailed field data, via PDA proprietary software and other means, per the terms of the contract and utilized back up methods to ensure accuracy. Statistical reports were written evaluating the baseline study, pre and post WHTI implementation.
In addition, RTR analyzed current wait time reporting methodology in use at the selected ports. Our analysts researched best practices, technologies, and infrastructure and operational impacts on wait time of passport inspections with a goal of determining the possibility of "streamlining" inspections across all ports.
Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) Testing and Evaluation
RTR analyzed the effects of increased Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Machine Readable documents on primary inspection operations at selected land ports- of- entry throughout the United States. This includes designing experiments to evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation of RFID embedded travel documents, the processes to support their implementation, and the hardware necessary to read the RF signals.
Pedestrian Re-engineering Study & Analysis
Our most recent business process study included a comprehensive analysis of the pedestrian environment at U.S. land borders. The analysis identified the existing operational processes, challenges, and opportunities for improvement for the overall logistics and throughput at specific border crossings, while acknowledging and maintaining the Federal Government’s national security interests.