Taylor, helped drive Customs’ AMS with liners, died
Gary S. Taylor, who is credited with bringing the liner carrier perspective to U.S. Customs’ development of the Automated Manifest System, died of cancer on May 12 in Palm Springs, Calif. He was 62.
Taylor started his career in 1970 with American Mail Line as a container coordinator. The company merged with American President Lines (APL) in October 1973. In 1975, he became part of APL’s documentation services at corporate headquarters in Oakland, Calif.
Taylor became an early member of the influential Customs Electronic Systems Action Council (CESAC), which was formed between Customs and the shipping industry in 1989, three years after the agency rolled out Sea AMS. Input from the council meetings kept the system up to date and relevant to both the agency and industry for the next two decades.
Through the earliest industry CESAC participants -- namely APL, Sea-Land, TFL, OOCL, Maersk, Evergreen, New Orleans Port Authority and Maher Terminals -- Sea AMS’s applications continued to grow in use among the ocean carriers.
Taylor was instrumental in working with Customs and the industry, particularly on the linkage to the cargo release process known as “cargo selectivity.”
“We would not have been able to make the progress we did, nor achieve the success that we did, without the industry knowledge and the drive to succeed that Gary brought to dialog that eventually became the CESAC, along with the latest generation of those systems we pioneered with him (at APL) 20 years ago,” said Kim Santos, former director of Customs’ Cargo Control and Release Requirements, and founder of CESAC.
Samuel Banks, former deputy U.S. Customs commissioner and executive vice president at Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, noted that APL’s Taylor and Adi Abel of Sea-Land were key players in successfully implementing AMS. “Moreover, they taught Customs about the shipping industry and supply chain and, in the process, became trusted advisors and good friends,” he said.
"Gary was one of the good ones: He never stood in the way of a good idea," added Peter Baish, former head of U.S. Customs’ Automated Export System, and now a consultant.
Taylor became APL’s director of information strategy and development in July 1986. He retired from the liner carrier in the mid-1990s.