As it stands, most of the ports in the U.S. do not share shipment data with port users. West Coast ports are looking to change this by creating information portals for port users to share and see shipment data, an innovation that will help increase productivity and improve security.
“If we can harmonize the behavior of the actors in our supply chain and stop working at cross purposes, it will boost American economic growth and competitiveness,” FMC Commissioner Rebecca Dye stated. “Many supply chain inefficiencies result from poor information availability, inaccurate information, or untimely information. Without timely, critical information, supply chain actors are ‘flying blind.’”
Supply chain actors include merchant ship captains, Merchant Marines, truckers, beneficial cargo owners , and other port users.
The Port of Los Angeles was the first port to act. Its information portal, developed in partnership with General Electric Transportation, has been in operation for over a year. Some of the terminals at the Port of Long Beach will soon use the portal as well. The Port of Oakland is creating a portal with partner Advent Intermodal Solutions that will be debuted this summer.
The Northwest Seaport Alliance, a partnership between the Port of Seattle and the Port of Tacoma, is in the process of choosing a technology partner to develop its own information portal as well.
“A portal system that provides real-time visibility to the supply chain has been the vision of the NWSA’s Operations Service Center since it launched a couple of years ago,” explained Tara Mattina, a spokesperson for NWSA.
If West Coast ports sees success with this undertaking, this scalable project will likely be adopted by ports on the Gulf and East coasts as well.