Supply chain stakeholders cooperate to ease port congestion

A supply chain pilot data-sharing project, according to the US Transportation Department (USDOT), aims to ease bottlenecks at congested US ports.

It will develop a digital tool to provide companies information on the condition of a node or region in the supply chain.

This project was initially announced in March with the help of trucking firms, shippers, wholesales and retailer ports.

The Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW) program included 18 initial participants including FedEx, United Parcel Service (UPS), C.H Robinson, Albertsons, Target as well as the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and ocean freight operators CMA CGM and MSC and Fenix Marine Terminal and Global Container Terminals.

US Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, called the program a first-of-its-kind initiative to share information and help move goods more quickly and cheaply.

The White House said in March the goal was to create a proof of-of-concept freight information exchange by the end of the summer.

DHL, JB Hunt, Maersk, Samsung, Procter & Gamble and Prologis have since joined the project.

The CEO of Samsung Electronics North America said data sharing enabling timely cargo delivery is a work in progress but remains incomplete. To fix this issue will require cooperation with many stakeholders across the supply chain.

Meanwhile, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said imports at US container ports are expected to slow for the remainder of the year but 2022 should still see a net gain over the prior year.

“Lower volumes may help ease congestion at some ports, but others are still seeing backups and global supply chain challenges are far from over,” the NRF said in a statement.

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