- GE Transportation and the Port of Los Angeles have implemented their joint pilot program aiming to digitize maritime data to improve accessibility and safety for shippers and container line companies, DC Velocity reported.
- The rollout will occur at Danish carrier Maersk Line's APM terminals, and include Maersk and Swiss carrier Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) in the process. Home improvement retailers Home Depot and Lowe's are also involved in the pilot program.
- The program is designed to offer enhanced visibility into flow of cargo, and to share data with stakeholders involved in the ocean transport supply chain. Preliminary results from the new GE-Port of Los Angeles program are due in July.
Shippers have previously referred to ports as black boxes of invisibility for cargo, citing a problematic lack of transparency inhibiting their ability to track the whereabouts of their goods.
To address the issue, the Federal Maritime Commission recommended a similar program back in December, but adoption has been slow. In light of this, some terminal operators, like DP World and A.P. Moller Maersk, have taken the matter into their own hands and developed an app to provide clients with real-time cargo tracking.
However, the GE-Port of Los Angeles partnership is among the first port-wide initiatives, at least in the U.S. The initiative aims to help importers, truckers, shipping lines, terminals and chassis holders alike open up the black box. With full stakeholder collaboration, parties will see better data on arrival times, delays, chassis availability and traffic congestion, thereby creating a smoother flow of business.
The Port of Los Angeles has long been considered a leader in visibility innovation, perhaps driven by its high volumes and history of congestion. When considering ports of preference, shippers and carriers take potential for delay and access to information into account.
The benefits of the GE-Port of Los Angeles initiative have yet to be seen, but few can deny it is a step in the right direction for the supply chain.