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Rail ACE

FLAGSHIP RAIL is a fully automated processing system available on Flagship’s Virtual Host Service.  This system provides rail carriers with an automated interface into U.S. Customs (RAIL*AMS) and Canada Customs (CANADA*RAIL).  FLAGSHIP RAIL is designed to integrate easily with the rail carriers’ existing documentation systems.  No data entry is required.  The data can be entered manually (or edited), but it is not really the preferred use of the system.

Data is received electronically from the railroads and automatically processed into the customer’s rail database. The data is then automatically submitted to Customs (U.S. or Canada). This is calculated from the origin and destinations provided. The responses from Customs are also automatically processed into the customer’s rail database.

For examle:

  • The rail customer sends EDI-417 waybill files.  These files are automatically processed into the rail database and a bill of lading number is automatically assigned (calculated from the car number and the waybill date).  After the bill of lading is validated, it is automatically submitted to Customs (by sending an EDI-309 file – Customs manifest).
  • For cars entering the U.S. – U.S. Customs sends back an EDI-355 message (acceptance/rejection) and that is automatically processed into the rail database.  The bill status is updated and logged).  U.S. Customs also sends EDI-350 messages (Customs status information) with status updates.
  • For cars entering Canada – Canada Customs sends back an EDI-824 message (Application advice) and that is automatically processed into the rail database.  The bill status is updated and logged).
  • The rail customer also sends EDI-418 (rail advance interchange consist) files.  These files are automatically processed into the customer’s rail database and the train ID is automatically assigned (calculated from the train symbol, a table in the system and EDA provided in the file).  After the consist is validated, it is automatically submitted to Customs (by sending an EDI-358 file – Customs consist information).
  • For trains entering the U.S. – U.S. Customs sends back an EDI-355 message (acceptance/rejection) and that is automatically processed into the rail database (and the bill status is updated and logged).  U.S. Customs also sends EDI-350 messages (Customs status information) with status updates.
  • For trains entering Canada – Canada Customs sends back an EDI-824 message (Application advice) and that is automatically processed into the rail database (and the bill status is updated and logged).
  • Amendments/corrections are also processed automatically/electronically – via the same process.
  • Manual amendments and corrections are also processed.  The system forces the users to submit any amended data to Customs prior to exiting the option.
  • Arrivals and in-bond movements are also processed automatically.
  • Any actions are logged into the transaction log for every bill of lading and consist.  Therefore a complete history is available.
  • The Canada and U.S. rail data are combined into one system.  There are separate options for manual submissions/edits/reviews of consists.  The bills of lading are all listed in one option with separate sub-options for submission to Customs (U.S. or Canada).  The system automatically calculates which Customs should receive the data submission from the routing information provided in the EDI files.
  • Shipper, consignee, broker and other party information is automatically processed from the EDI-417 files.  Tables can also be used that will also automatically assign brokers for specific shippers or consignees.  Line release tables are also available.  These can be as specific or general, as preferred.
  • We have automated e-mail processing lists, similar to AMS for processing cargo control documents (Canada), processed/rejected consists, EDI-315 messages (status details) from other carriers.  The customers can be notified automatically (via e-mail) of any problems or errors on their cars or trains.
  • A variety of reports are also available.  The most common are Inward Train reports, Outward Train reports, Broker Entry status reports, Report of cars on-hold, Report of open In-bonds, FDA reports and Manifest Errors reports.
  • Consists can now even be created manually.  This was something that was requested by our customers in case there was a problem with the link on their servers.  Cars can also be added, removed or changed without customer sending updated EDI-418 files.
  • Delete consists or manifest functionality is also available for U.S. and Canada Customs

Data exchange between our rail system and our AMS system would also be possible.  It should be noted that we don’t currently have any rail customers using this functionality, but we already create EDI-309 files for Customs in rail.  We also already process EDI-309 files into Flagship AMS.  So, this functionality should not be very difficult to get working between rail and AMS, if requested.

Flagship is currently in the process of making additional enhancements to the rail systems for ACE M1.  We will begin testing rail with U.S. Customs in the next month or so – as soon as testing for ocean is completed.