Initial outcomes of a three-month technology pilot by GE Transportation to improve cargo flow at the Port of Long Beach have demonstrated efficiency improvements at the port.
GE’s Port Optimizer showed advanced visibility of incoming cargo, offered over 14 days faster access to information, and improved turn times while increasing throughput which led to increased supply chain performance.
Weston LaBar, the CEO of the Harbor Trucking Association, said: “Many of our industry’s inefficiencies are the result of a lack of transparency between stakeholders, which creates an inability to plan operations in advance.”
LaBar believes that the portal has the potential to solve many of the problems that truckers currently have to deal with.
He explained: “On a typical day, a trucker/dispatcher will need to access more than 40 websites to facilitate their operations in the port.”
The system condenses data from all stakeholders in one access point which allows truckers to begin planning operations at least 10 days in advance of containers being ready for pick-up.
Coordinated with data on the availability of equipment, labour and other resources needed to move cargo through the supply chain, Port Optimizer aims to enhance cargo flow as it offers improved advance notice of cargo arrival.
According to Donna Servais, senior director of international logistics and direct import operations at Office Depot, the Port Optimizer has the potential to provide real-time information for time sensitive imports through platform functionality.
This could include vessel tracking, vessel operational status, container availability status, empty container management and chassis inventory according to Servais.
“In partnership, these functionalities will work together to drive more effective forecasting, better asset management, and greater flexibility within any organisation’s supply chain,” she added.
In a collaboration with Envio 360, GE expanded drayage final mile capabilities for the pilot to allow real-time, port-to-door visibility that aims to bring goods to market in a more reliable and predictable manner.
Jennifer Schopfer, vice president and general manager of GE Transportation Transport Logistics, said: “Integrating the Envio 360 Drayage Optimization Platform enhances Port Optimizer’s capabilities to deliver greater supply chain visibility and response.”
The pilot participants are excited to expand usage of the platform across the greater San Pedro Bay port complex following the system’s debut at the Port of Los Angeles last year, according to the technology company.
The Port of Long Beach Board of Commissioners will be reviewing the results of the pilot in the coming weeks.