Fixing the congestion at the ports will require more than a government mandate, since getting goods from production to stores requires an unusual amount of collaboration. One strategic partnership, however, might improve communications at the port.
This year, global logistics platform Flexport and digital freight network Convoy joined as long-term partners to create full end-to-end supply chain visibility — from the international manufacturer to the final retail delivery on a truck.
“Depending on how this plays out, immediately it’s their overlapping customer base that see the benefit because now they have one provider giving them that whole version of the truth for visibility,” said Tyler Cole, director of carbon intelligence. “As you start to layer in and scale, that’s really where a lot of those benefits initially come from. It’s all about getting good clean data and doing it at scale.”
But when it comes to changing operational structures at the port to improve communication, there are several obstacles at play. There’s a historical reluctance and a distrust to data sharing across the supply chain, and also some outdated communication structures may be in place due to labor unions.
“How do we develop systems that incentivize people to share data, while also providing the safeguards that need to be in place?” said Danny Gomez, managing director of financial and emerging markets at FreightWaves. “We don’t want to eat into anyone’s bottom line, but we do want to get to this common goal of sharing information for the purpose of efficiency in providing reductions in emissions.”
While the technology infrastructure that will ensue from the Flexport-Convoy partnership will inevitably work around these constraints, it’s these kinds of advances that will push the industry toward complete visibility and decarbonization.