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By Stephen K. Peeples, KHTS News
AMS Fulfillment Inc., a shipping company based in the Valencia Commerce Center Business Park, has been designated as a modified foreign trade zone, equivalent to an inland port of entry for clients that import merchandise through U.S. Customs.
The designation allows AMS Fulfillment to receive shipments of products without the shipper having to pay customs duties until the products leave the AMS warehouse.
AMS’s designation resulted from the City of Palmdale’s extension of its foreign trade zone boundary to a 60-mile radius, which includes the Santa Clarita Valley.
“For many clients, this is a major reduction in their need for capital up front,” said AMS CEO and co-owner Ken Wiseman just before a press conference and ribbon-cutting ceremony at AMS headquarters Thursday morning that was attended by local public officials and business owners. “They can actually wait until they sell a product before they’re incurring the duties as it leaves from our facility and is shipped to their customer.
“Another opportunity is if they sell if to Canada, as we have one client, Emu Australia, that’s looking to start bringing their Canada shipments into the U.S.,” Wiseman said. “They don’t have to incur the U.S. duties as long as (the shipment) stays within a (federal trade zone) status. And so it comes here, it stays here, it creates jobs for Valencia and area folks, and then the product moves to Canada, and at that point the duties are paid on the product from Canada. Otherwise it would have been a double-duty-type situation, so this makes it more affordable for companies to do international business out of the United States.”
AMS’s federal trade zone status also expedites the international shipping process. “Currently in a double-duty situation there are ways you can get one of the duties back based on where the product will be used, but that’s a very laborious, difficult task,” Wiseman said. “Some of those funds are never recaptured. So this sets the stage for more efficient international business.
AMS, founded in September 2002, started the FTZ boundary modification process in 2005, due to a client request, and the site activation was achieved on Aug. 8 of this year.
The AMS designation was the result of a collaborative effort between the City of Palmdale, which extended its foreign trade zone designation to include the SCV, and County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, the Los Angeles Office of Community Economic Development and the Santa Clarita Economic Development Committee.
The status benefits not only AMS, but also the entire community, the City of Santa Clarita and the Valencia Commerce Center Business Park.
“We appreciate their doing that for us,” Wiseman said. “It brings jobs into our area. Quite frankly, if we had more cities and counties and the state working together like this, maybe we should get on a bus and teach them how to do this in Washington.”
AMS Fulfillment provides warehousing, assembly and complex pick-pack-ship fulfillment services to both retail chains and direct to consumer. They have a client base across a variety of industries, managing tens of thousands of retail items, product orders and shipments for over 40 active retail clients. They manage inventory, order fulfillment and logistics for a number of brand-companies including TOMS Shoes, Ironclad, Native, Nike (Umbro), C1RCA and many more.
For more information, visit amsfulfillment.com.
Pictured above at the ribbon-cutting ceremony are (from left); David Harlow, president/CEO of ITC-Diligence, an AMS consultant; Jonas Peterson, president/CEO of the SCV Economic Development Committee; Morris Thomas, field representative for Congressman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon; John Bevacqua, AMS special project management consultant; Jay Catlin, AMS co-owner, CEO and managing partner; Ken Wiseman, AMS co-owner and CEO; Rosalind Wayman, senior deputy with L.A. County Board of Supervisors 5th District Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich; James C. Ledford Jr., Mayor of Palmdale; Daina Moore, Los Angeles City Economic Development Committee; and Kari Blackburn, City of Palmdale senior executive development manager. (Photo: Stephen K. Peeples)