23 Sept 2016
DOC to Promote Port Community Systems to Address Supply Chain Congestion
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced on 31 August that it is planning to launch a national competition to help U.S. seaports and stakeholders develop and use port information-sharing technologies, also known as port community systems. The DOC states that such IT platforms enable enhanced stakeholder awareness of cargo flow and port operating status and that helping interested U.S. ports and stakeholders to develop such systems would improve port operating efficiency, enable faster cargo flow, reduce port and supply chain congestion, and allow U.S. port stakeholders to better handle new container mega-vessels that will soon begin to arrive at West Coast and other U.S. seaports on a regular basis. The agency notes that port community systems are often deployed successfully at non-U.S. ports, providing them with a competitive advantage.
The competition will involve teams consisting of port users, technology developers, and other stakeholders to develop prototypes for open-source port community system platforms. These prototypes will need to utilise the maritime cargo status data elements recommended by the DOC’s Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness and ensure the secure sharing of this data within the stakeholder communities of specific ports. The DOC plans to hold a Demo Day in November that will enable teams to demonstrate their prototypes for interested port and supply chain communities.
The DOC observes that it will share the results of the competition with ports and supply chain stakeholders to improve their awareness of effective platforms that they can use and implement at their discretion, recognising that ports may select other options or continue to utilise existing systems based on local circumstances. The results of the competition will also be shared as part of a best practices report that the DOC will publish in December.