FMC is exploring how data can accelerate container delivery

In an initiative led by Commissioner Carl Bentzel, the Federal Maritime Commission will try to find out how data can accelerate the flow of containers through the supply chain.

The multi-phase effort announced on Monday will “propose recommendations for common data standards used by the international shipping supply chain, as well as access policies and protocols that streamline information sharing throughout the maritime supply chain,” according to the FMC.

The first results are to be presented at a maritime data summit next spring.

“Events over the past year have shown the United States needs to get more capacity out of our cargo delivery system,” said Dan Maffei, chairman of the FMC. “The exchange of information and additional transparency when transporting containers are one way of moving more containers more efficiently. I am self-confident [Bentzel’s] Work will lead to useful and actionable recommendations. “

The initiative marks the FMC’s recent efforts to combat supply chain efficiency and congestion. The agency has also conducted an ongoing investigation into demurrage charges and detentions levied by shipping companies, as well as an investigation into airline billing practices.

Bentzel plans to hold the first public meeting on the data project in December. Speakers will include officials from the Biden administration, data experts, standard-setting specialists and members of the FMC’s newly created National Shipper Advisory Committee.

“When you pass a US airport … you get information about your gate and information about when your plane is departing and landing,” said Benzel.

“The maritime industry doesn’t have a similar system. Given the immense economic impact and our country’s dependence on shipping, the sustained increase in freight volumes and other operational impacts from COVID-19, it is clear to me that we need to develop a stronger information system for the shipping public. “

Bentzel said the agency will work with the transportation industry to increase transparency regarding international freight systems. “Our port-gateway corridors are limited by physical restrictions and the best ways to increase efficiency are by making greater use of information technology and coordinating the various modes of transport in the supply chain,” he said.

Click here to see more FreightWaves articles by John Gallagher.

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