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Port of Long Beach Launches Data-Sharing Project to Improve Cargo Flow

Building on the success of its pilot project with the Port of Los Angeles, GE Transportation and the Port of Long Beach, California, are collaborating to improve cargo flow at the busiest port complex in North America.

As cargo volumes and the complexity of port operations increase, the Port of Long Beach pilot is meant to increase visibility, enhance real-time decision-making and optimize cargo movement through the facility, with the implementation of GE Transportation’s Port Optimizer solution for marine terminals.

The project, which will run as a two- to three-month pilot, is expected to allow ports to have visibility of incoming cargo as far out as two weeks, rather than the current two days.

Port Optimizer is cloud-based software designed to enhance supply chain performance and predictability by delivering real time data-driven insights to stakeholders across the supply chain. The tool integrates data from across the port, combining machine learning and domain expertise, to enable those in the supply chain to monitor and respond to dynamic conditions, align the right people and resources, and communicate across functions–which all means maximizing cargo flow at the ports and improving delivery performance.

“We experienced record volumes last year, with an 11 percent increase to 7.54 million 20-foot equivalent units, making 2017 our busiest year ever,” Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach, said. “This partnership with GE is providing an important trial for us as cargo and competition grow. We need new and innovative ways to ensure our customers can move their containers from water to land quickly, reliably and at a cost that makes sense for their business.”

Many logistics and transportation companies and organization have embarked on similar initiatives of late, particularly in forming blockchain groups for secure data sharing and transparency.

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“The pilot brings tremendous opportunity for the San Pedro Bay ports customers and supply chain partners,” Laurie Tolson, chief digital officer of GE Transportation. “With container volumes on the rise, the world’s ports are moving more cargo than ever, making the need for operations optimization even more critical. A uniform, common user portal, like our Port Optimizer solution, will enable stakeholders to make scheduling, planning and payment decisions prior to cargo arrival, as well as reduce delays during each handoff between nodes in the supply chain.”

Long Beach Harbor Commission president Lou Anne Bynum said boosting the efficient movement of cargo through San Pedro Bay, the nation’s leading trade gateway, will b key to accommodating future cargo growth.

“It was important to us to ensure this pilot involved multiple container terminals, so we can collect the best data to develop this important tool,” Bynum said. “This is an intriguing technology and we’re interested to see if it can improve our operations.”

A division of General Electric Company, GE Transportation supplies equipment, services and digital solutions to the rail, mining, marine, stationary power and drilling industries.

The Port of Long Beach is served by 175 shipping lines with connections to 217 seaports worldwide. The port handles trade valued at more than $180 billion each year and is undertaking $4 billion in planned capital improvements this decade to support trade growth and strengthen its ability to serve the goods-movement industry.