US launches plan to make supply chain data FLOW

The US government has launched a new information sharing initiative to support freight data exchange across the supply chain, dubbed Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW), with an initial phase aiming to develop a proof-of-concept by the end of the summer.

FLOW includes eighteen initial participants that represent different perspectives across the supply chain, including container shipping companies CMA CGM and MSC, terminal operators Fenix Marine Terminal and Global Container Terminals, and the ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles and Georgia.

These stakeholders, along with others in the supply chain including large BCOs (beneficial cargo owners), will be asked to identify and operationalise methods of information sharing to ultimately create a voluntary national exchange for freight information that is available to participants who are willing to share their data.

“The lack of digital infrastructure and transparency makes our supply chains brittle and unable to adapt when faced with a shock,” said the White House, in a statement.

“The goods movement chain is almost entirely privately operated and spans shipping lines, ports, terminal operators, truckers, railroads, warehouses, and cargo owners such as retailers. These different actors have made great strides in digitizing their own internal operations, but they do not always exchange information with each other.”

“This lack of information exchange can cause delays as cargo moves from one part of the supply chain to another, driving up costs and increasing goods movement fragility.”

Share this story

About the Author

Picture of Rob O'Dwyer
Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

Further Reading

News Archive