AmericasContainersPorts and Logistics

Washington pilots freight information exchange in ongoing supply chain battle

The US Department of Transportation announced on March 15 the launch of a major supply chain initiative, Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW), intended to help speed up delivery times and reduce consumer costs.

FLOW is an information-sharing initiative to pilot freight information exchange between parts of the goods movement supply chain. It includes 18 initial participants, including private businesses, trucking, warehousing and logistics companies, ports and more — with the expectation that more partners will be added going forward.

The Georgia Ports Authority is one participant in FLOW. The port’s executive director, Griff Lynch, said in a statement, “Greater transparency – knowing where a vessel or a container is at every stage of transit – would provide the predictability cargo owners and logistics providers need to optimise the use of resources. Through better communication, aspects of the supply chain such as timing on production, staffing, trucks and chassis, and warehouse space can be fine-tuned for greater efficiency and velocity.”

Participants also include the Port of Los Angeles, the Port of Long Beach and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).

“We strongly believe that a common and interoperable digital infrastructure throughout the container shipping industry is a critical step to make supply chains more efficient, secure and resilient,” said André Simha, chief digital and information officer at MSC. “There is no doubt that this initiative will strengthen the foundation for the seamless, end-to-end exchange of information we all need to keep global trade moving today – and tomorrow.”

Kim Biggar

Kim Biggar started writing in the supply chain sector in 2000, when she joined the Canadian Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Management. In 2004/2005, she was project manager for the Government of Canada-funded Canadian Logistics Skills Committee, which led to her 13-year role as communications manager of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. A longtime freelance writer, Kim has contributed to publications including The Forwarder, 3PL Americas, The Shipper Advocate and Supply Chain Canada.
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