In major news for U.S. West Coast ports, a group of five California ports will partner to create a game-changing data-sharing system for seamless shipments.
Working together, the alliance of California ports will seek to unify currently siloed data and solve visibility issues, a major reason for supply chain disruptions at U.S. West Coast ports two years ago.
Mike Gipson, a California state representative that represents the district containing the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach said last week:
“During this pandemic, we saw what happened when we did not prioritize this industry and the catastrophic effects that it has had on the supply chain”
Now, the new system aims to solve those issues and prioritize avoiding another major supply chain crunch.
The MOU for the alliance establishes the basis for developing a shared data system.
It comprises 11 areas of collaboration, “ranging from developing data definitions to ensuring equitable access to data for users,” according to Dee Dee Myers, director of California’s economic development organization GO-Biz.
The $27 million in cash under the data-sharing effort will be distributed as grants to the five ports. According to state financing rules, half of the grant funds was reliant on ports establishing an MOU outlining how they will collaborate to achieve real-time interoperability.
According to California legislation, the ultimate system cannot track or monitor labor on measures such as productivity. It also cannot be used to limit labor’s capacity to bargain collectively with ports.
In a statement, Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, stated that “data was essential to navigating supply chain disruption.” He added, “That data’s analytics give us the ability to see around corners, which is not only a competitive advantage but also now a requirement for the general public.”
Each of the ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach runs a cloud-based system for cargo data.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the Port of Long Beach confirmed that it would utilize its share of the grant money to improve the “Supply Chain Information Highway”, a network of ports in the U.S.