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Export Phase of Supply Chain Information Initiative Launched

Thursday, July 13, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Federal Maritime Commission has launched the export phase of its supply chain innovation teams initiative, which will focus on identifying the actionable information needed for improved supply chain system visibility, reliability, and resilience.

In the first phase of this initiative, which focused on the import supply chain, three private-sector teams concluded that a national portal providing critical information would help address the congestion and related bottlenecks experienced at ports and other points in the U.S. supply chain in recent years. Having determined that most such obstacles are created from poor information transmission, inaccurate information, or information unavailable at the right time, the teams developed lists of the critical information and data needs of the various supply chain actors (mainly dealing with port and marine terminal operations such as container availability, chassis availability, and more efficient drayage trucking operations), likely sources of that information,  timing requirements, and the operational improvements that likely would result from access to this information. 

The FMC states that in phase two nearly 40 experienced industry leaders representing public port authorities, warehouses, exporters, ocean carriers, longshore labor, ocean transportation intermediaries, trucking, and rail will undertake a similar effort to with respect to exports. FMC Commissioner Rebecca Dye, who is leading this initiative, said this project is focused on “accurate, actionable information delivered in a reliable and timely way,” not just large amounts of data. Teams will meet this week in Washington and plan to hold additional gatherings as well, with the objective of completing the export work this fall.

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