Meijer named 2012 World Trader of the Year

May 6, 2012
| By Pete Daly |
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The West Michigan World Trade Association will present Meijer Inc. with its 2012 World Trader of the Year award at a World Trade Week VIP reception tonight at the Gerald R. Ford Museum.

The award recognizes a business, organization or individual in West Michigan that has demonstrated a commitment to international trade in the region. It is a major component of the annual World Trade Week events held in the first week of May.

According to the announcement by the WMWTA, Meijer is currently direct importing from more than 30 countries on five continents and has demonstrated “a continual commitment to import compliance and excellence.”

Accepting the award on behalf of Meijer will be Rick Keyes, executive vice president of Meijer supply chain, operations and manufacturing.

Meijer, a privately held, Grand Rapids-based retailer, operates 197 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, with approximately 60,000 employees in five states.

The company has been a Tier III-validated Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism company since 2007. Earlier this year, Meijer was accepted into the Importer Self Assessment Program by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

According to John Toles of HUB International-Midwest, the C-TPAT program is a voluntary cooperation between import trade businesses and the U.S. Customs Service to reduce threat risks.

One of the C-TPAT objectives is to balance the need for increased security measures at U.S. borders with a reduction in unnecessary delays for legitimate and compliant trade.

A C-TPAT member undergoes fewer inspections of its shipping containers and has been assigned a customs account manager.

Tier III is the highest level of membership and results when customs determines during validation procedures that an importer exceeds the minimum security standards and has adopted best practices regarding supply chain security, according to Toles. It is, in effect, a “green lane” with no routine security inspections and infrequent random inspections. When an inspection is required, the shipping container receives priority and moves to the front of the line.

Toles is the global risk executive at HUB International’s Grand Rapids office. HUB helps its business clients manage risk and insurance claims.

Through its strategic partnership with BDP International, Meijer has moved to an electronic documentation system and eliminated all paper files and document courier expense. Meijer also has participated in the development of BDP Smart Vu for origin purchase order management and booking visibility.

BDP International is a 45-year-old, privately owned company that provides global logistics and transportation services in more than 120 countries.

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