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How a Leading International Freight Forwarder Stays CTPAT Certified with Ease

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Estes Forwarding Worldwide is Saving Time and Money, and Staying Compliant with Veroot

The Client

Estes Forwarding Worldwide (EFW), a subsidiary of Estes Express Lines, is one of the United State’s leading domestic and international freight forwarders. The award-winning organization provides customized logistics solutions for clients around the world and across nearly every industry and has earned more than a billion dollars in revenue.

With high-profile business partners like Walmart and Home Depot, the company recognizes the value of maintaining its CTPAT certification. And when Sam Vazquez was promoted to Director of Global Operations and Compliance, that responsibility fell to him.

The Challenge

Having a CTPAT certification helps companies like EFW maintain and grow relationships with larger clients and streamline the logistics experience with shorter border wait times, fewer CBP examinations, free and secure trade (FAST) access to lanes at the land borders, and more. But earning and maintaining a CTPAT status is a tedious and time-consuming effort.

While Sam’s predecessor began the complex CTPAT validation process, there was still plenty of work needed to ensure they could maintain their certification. This manual process is a significant undertaking for anyone — especially a busy department head who already had a lot on his plate.

“I felt the pressure as a company of our size and in our stature that we needed to up our game. We needed to look a lot more professional,” Sam says. “We needed to be CTPAT certified, but I didn’t feel we were comfortable or ready — and that’s why we ended up going with Veroot.”

Sam virtually met with the Veroot team and learned more about their CTPAT consulting service, expertise in the space, and how they could help save Sam and his team countless hours of work.

The Solution

After gathering some preliminary data, the Veroot team scheduled a kick-off interview to review EFW’s current CTPAT status, gaps, and achievements. They helped Sam build a security profile, source all the necessary supporting documents, and get set up on Veroot’s automated software platform for easy CTPAT maintenance.

After the onboarding process, the Veroot team took over the heavy lifting of building out EFW’s new CTPAT program so Sam could focus on his day-to-day operations. They created a comprehensive, EFW-branded presentation and knowledge assessment quiz, which all employees can access through Veroot’s easy-to-use learning management system.

Through the software, Sam can automatically send annual questionnaires to EFW’s business partners, build action plans based on questionnaire responses, and handle management reviews with ready-made templates.

“The software helps me keep track of who I’m doing business with and if they are staying compliant,” Sam says. “On a weekly basis, I will go into the software and take a quick glance to make sure there’s no expiration on some of these vendors, and, if there is, I send them out another questionnaire to make sure they’re staying up to date.”

He also has full insight into which employees have completed their training and can send them reminders when it’s time to take it again. And whenever U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) updates its requirements for CTPAT certification, the Veroot team notifies him so he can keep EFW in compliance.

Before the organization’s recent CTPAT audit, the Veroot team reviewed EFW’s process and scheduled a mock validation so the team would feel comfortable ahead of the event. When CBP scheduled the EFW’s virtual validation, Veroot joined the call as backup.

“I cannot thank [the Veroot team] enough. Rick Williamson and Joe Hurst helped us with onboarding. Amanda Shield and Cherie Patrick really did a fantastic job preparing us for the audit. I met with them a week before the validation, and they walked us through the whole process. Going into that call, my nerves were next level, and after that call, I felt so comfortable. On the day of the validation, I was just like, ‘Okay, I got this!’”

The Results

Since onboarding with Veroot, EFW has eliminated considerable overhead around the CTPAT process. Now Sam can easily manage the company’s certification and ensure they’re doing everything possible to remain in compliance.

According to Sam, EFW passed its most recent annual CTPAT audit “with flying colors,” and he says much of that is due to Veroot.

“Working to Veroot has been amazing. In our day-to-day, we are so busy processing stuff for our customers that adopting CTPAT ourselves would have been a huge undertaking,” Sam says. “We really wanted to make sure that if we became CTPAT certified, we would do it right. Our company takes a lot of pride in doing the CTPAT program. And the Veroot team was able to help make our CTPAT certification happen for us.”