The U.S. Transportation Department (USDOT) has begun sharing data with partners of its Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW) programme, designed to address supply chain challenges.
Launched in March by the Biden-Harris Administration, FLOW is the first-of-its-kind digital tool that gives companies information on the condition of a node or region in the supply chain.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is proud to bring together companies from across the supply chain in this first-of-its-kind initiative to share information and help move goods more quickly and cheaply,” said USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
“To keep supply chains moving and prices down, we must invest not only in our physical infrastructure but also our digital infrastructure, and FLOW is an important part of that effort.”
READ: Harnessing the power of data to address supply chain challenges
According to USDOT’s recent statement, FLOW was launched to combat the lack of transparency across supply chain networks as “an independent steward of supply chain data across a largely privately-operated enterprise that spans shipping lines, ports, terminal operators, truckers, railroads, warehouses, and beneficial cargo owners.”
As recent supply chain disruptions have raised a national awareness on the need for improved information exchange, FLOW aims to support American businesses by improving the accuracy of information for a more resilient supply chain.
The programme initially welcomed 18 partners and has since expanded to count 36 with more to participate in the coming months.
“From the start we welcomed this opportunity to collaborate on development of the Biden-Harris Administration’s FLOW project because it will improve our ability to enhance supply chain reliability,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director, Port of Long Beach.
“It’s a crucial task at an important time, and we are pleased to be engaged in a plan that will benefit US consumers and businesses alike by making this country more competitive in international trade.”
The US supply chain is facing major hurdles as congestion at container ports has reached worrying levels.
The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has called out carriers’ for their lack of accountability in moving the buildup at clogged terminals.