US works with companies in supply chains to ease port congestion

Shipping containers are unloaded from a ship at a container terminal at the Port of Long Beach-Port of Los Angeles complex in Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 7, 2021. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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WASHINGTON, Aug 10 (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) said on Wednesday that a supply chain data-sharing pilot project aimed at reducing bottlenecks at congested U.S. ports has begun to exchange data and had doubled in size.

USDOT announced the planned project in March with truckers, shippers, wholesalers, retailers, and ports “to develop a digital tool that gives businesses insight into the status of a node or region. in the supply chain”.

The effort known as the Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW) program included 18 initial participants, including FedEx (FDX.N), UPS (UPS.N), CH Robinson (CHRW.O), Albertsons (ACI.N) , Target (TGT .N) as well as the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and ocean carriers CMA CGM and MSC and Fenix ​​Marine Terminal and Global Container Terminals.

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US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called the program “the first initiative of its kind to share information and help move goods faster and more cost-effectively”.

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

The department is holding a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the group’s initial secure data sharing with the USDOT which has now expanded to 36 participants, including logistics giant DHL, part of the Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPWGn.DE ), long-haul trucker JB Hunt (JBHT.O), Maersk (MAERSKb.CO), Samsung (005930.KS), Procter & Gamble (PG.N) and Prologis (PLD.N) at

USDOT said it serves as an “independent manager of supply chain data in a largely private company that spans shipping lines, ports, terminal operators, truckers, railroads, warehouses and owners of beneficial goods”.

Samsung Electronics North America CEO KS Choi said, “Sharing data that enables timely delivery of goods is a work in progress but remains incomplete. Solving this issue will require cooperation with many stakeholders throughout along the supply chain”.

On Monday, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said imports into major U.S. container ports are expected to slow significantly for the rest of the year, but 2022 should still see a net gain from 2021.

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

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Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Robert Birsel

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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