The Federal Maritime Commission is trying to pinpoint how data can help speed the flow of containers through the supply chain.

The multi-phased effort is proposing “recommendations for common data standards used by the international shipping supply chain, as well as access policies and protocols that would streamline information sharing across the ocean supply chain,” according to the FMC.

Initial findings are expected to be presented at a maritime data summit next spring.

“Events of the past year have proven the need for the United States to achieve more capacity from our cargo delivery system,” said FMC Chairman Dan Maffei. “Information sharing and additional transparency in how containers move is one way we can move more containers more efficiently.”

The initiative marks the latest effort by the FMC to address supply chain efficiency and congestion.

Given the immense national economic impact and our nation’s reliance on ocean shipping, sustained surges in cargo volumes, and other operational impacts caused by COVID-19, it is clear that there is a need to develop a stronger system of information for the shipping industry.

The agency will work with the transportation industry to boost transparency around international freight systems. US port gateway corridors are limited by physical constraints, and the best options for efficiencies lie with the greater utilization of information technologies and coordination between the different modes in the supply chain.

(Ref. American Shipper November 15, 2021)