Formulation, structure, and analysis of a model to optimize staffing levels at border checkpoints
This paper formulates, structures, and analyzes a model to optimize the staffing levels at a border checkpoint from the perspective of a person in charge of staffing, accounting for both wage costs for staff and border waiting times for travelers. This model adapts existing queuing theory systems previously applied in other disciplines to the customs process and uses the adjusted model to develop a staffing plan for a representative day at the Peace Arch border crossing in Blaine, Washington. The sensitivity analysis suggests model outputs are heavily dependent on inputs including staffing costs and waiting costs. This paper concludes that the border crossing under consideration is currently operating near its maximum capacity and that future increases in traffic volumes of 40% could warrant expansion of the checkpoint. The model also confirms the benefits of the NEXUS, frequent, low-risk traveler program in decreasing the wait times and costs of operating a customs facility. © 2011 American Society of Civil Engineers.
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