The Port of Los Angeles and GE Transportation have agreed to extend their partnership to digitize the movement of shipment information for a minimum of five years and up to about $12 million, according to a statement from Southern California port.
A unique pilot project under which the Port of Los Angeles and GE Transportation teamed up to digitize the movement of shipment information at some port terminals is being expanded.
Less than a year after launching the project, the program is growing to include all container terminals and shipping lines at the Southern California seaport.
The port and GE Transportation have agreed to extend their partnership for a minimum of five years and up to about $12 million, the two said in a joint statement. The port’s five-member harbor commission approved the agreement during its most recent business meeting; it now goes on to review by the Los Angeles City Council.
Under the pilot, which was announced in November 2016, the port initially charted the performance levels of the 2M Alliance’s new TransPacific 6 service based on the information provided by the data portal. 2M Alliance members Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co., the world’s two largest container carriers, participated in the pilot data project, along with the Port of LA’s flagship terminal, APMT at Pier 400, which is operated by Maersk subsidiary APM Terminals.
The project’s expansion, the port said, will be far reaching, supporting about 9 million TEUs, over 15,000 truck providers and thousands of cargo importers.
“With our container volumes at record highs, the GE digital shipping solution is critical to our future success,” Port of LA Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a statement. “The GE portal is an investment in the long-term growth of the Port of Los Angeles and tells our stakeholders and customers that we take seriously our responsibility to find new ways to drive efficiencies and optimization.”
Based on the initial pilot results, the port said it expects efficiency gains of 8 percent to 12 percent as the enhanced project is rolled out across various terminals.
“We believe this project will not only move the needle, but could be a game changer,” Seroka said.
In preparation for the next phase of the collaboration, GE Transportation and the Port of LA surveyed users involved in the initial pilot and said the results “were overwhelmingly positive,” with most respondents agreeing the data in the portal is “easy to understand and easy to access.”
The survey also uncovered areas for improvement, such as increasing the level of detail users can access about each shipment, as well as their access to shipment data across the supply chain.
Harbor Trucking Association Executive Director Weston LaBar said he’s a proponent of the new system, remarking that under current processes, a trucking dispatcher may visit up to 40 websites a day just to coordinate cargo movement into the port complex.
“Having a single portal, a single reference point, will create new levels of efficiency that we’ve been seeking for a long time,” LaBar said.
“The initial results of the pilot are resonating with partners and providing an opportunity for us to collaborate on expanding the work,” GE Transportation President and CEO Jamie Miller said in a statement. “It’s a major step toward exploring how a system like this could be developed and implemented for other ports in the U.S. and abroad.”
“This is a game changing effort for business, the economy, investors and consumers,” Miller said.
A two-minute video about the project can be seen on the port’s YouTube channel.
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