©Reuters. File image of ships unloading containers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, USA. February 6, 2015. REUTERS/Bob Riha Jr.
By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON, Aug 10 (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) said on Wednesday that a pilot supply chain data exchange project, aimed at easing bottlenecks at congested U.S. ports, has begun operate, doubled in size.
USDOT announced the project in March with truckers, carriers, wholesalers, retailers and ports “to develop a digital tool that provides businesses with information about the status of a supply chain node or region.”
The initiative, known as Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW), includes 18 initial participants, including FedEx (NYSE:), UPS (NYSE:), CH Robinson, Albertsons and target (NYSE:), 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.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called the program a “pioneering initiative to share information and help move goods faster and cheaper.”
The department will hold a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the initial data sharing in the group, which has already grown to 36 participants, including logistics giant DHL, part of Deutsche Post DHL (ETR:) Group, long-haul carrier JB Hunt, Maersk (CSE:), Samsung (KS:), Procter & Gamble (NYSE:), and Prologis.
The USDOT said it is serving as “an independent steward of supply chain data through a largely private company that encompasses shipping lines, ports, terminal operators, truckers, railroads, warehouses and beneficial cargo owners”.
On Monday, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said imports at major US container ports are expected to slow significantly for the rest of the year, but 2022 should still see a net profit over 2021.
(Edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)