Port of Los Angeles hosts chainPORT meeting on “digitized” efficiencies

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A group of leading ports from around the globe wrapped up a two-day meeting in Los Angeles this week as part of a maritime collaboration called chainPORT, a global initiative established in 2015 to digitally connect ports worldwide and boost efficiency within the global maritime supply chain.

The chainPORT initiative is led by the Ports of Los Angeles and Hamburg Port Authority in Germany, in collaboration with the Global Institute of Logistics. Other ports participating in the third annual meeting are Shanghai, Antwerp, Barcelona, Montreal, Felixstowe, Indonesia and Shenzhen.

“Working together to explore best practices and innovation, as well as leading-edge technology to improve port operations is more important than ever in a global environment,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “As a port, we need to continue to evolve and adapt to remain both competitive and relevant.”

“Port operations are becoming more and more complex, and we strongly believe port authorities working together around the globe can add significant extra value to the global supply chain,” said Jens Meier, CEO of the Hamburg Port Authority. “Collaboration in a global network of ports and digitization is the way of the future.”

“Historically ports were measured on their ability to accommodate ships and other modes of transport effectively and efficiently,” said Kieran Ring, CEO of the Global Institute of Logistics, which was instrumental in getting the chainPORT alliance off the ground. “However, increased international trade and the global economic environment have given rise to a new breed of customers who demand optimum flexibility, efficiency and transparency in their dealings with ports.” 

Seroka kicked off the two-day meeting with a presentation about Port of Los Angeles’ supply chain optimization pilot project in partnership with GE Transportation.  Together they are developing a digital portal that provides real-time shipping information for cargo owners and supply chain providers to more effectively track and plan for movement of their cargo from ocean transit to final destination.

Based on the initial pilot results, the port anticipates efficiency gains of between eight and 12 percent as the enhanced solution is rolled out, a recent LM feature noted.

Meier focused his presentation on a vision of the digitalized port of the future and what needs to be done to get there. Presentations were then given by leads of each of chainPORT’s five working groups: Smart IT solutions; Implications & Solutions for Ultra Large Container Vessels; Digital Change within Port Authorities; Project chainLOG; and the Port Academy.

One keynote address was given by Nick Vyas, director of the Center for Global Supply Chain Management at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.

“My focus was on supply chain optimization and digitization,” he told LM in an interview. “These are issues we will revisit when USC hosts our 6th Annual Global Supply Chain Excellence Summit next August.”

Jay Samit, Independent Vice Chairman of Deloitte Digital, was the other keynote speaker. He addressed  the challenges ports face, driving their needs for creative solutions.

Visiting port representatives also toured the Port of Los Angeles, and paid a visit to Virgin Hyperloop One, the commercialized land-transportation concept for goods and passenger movement currently being developed in Los Angeles.  

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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