Port of Los Angeles and GE enhance “digitization” of supply chain

Teams scale digital pilot, adding terminals and shipping lines throughout port to help goods move more efficiently through America's largest container port

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Less than a year since launching its unique “digital solution” for ocean cargo container throughput, the Port of Los Angeles and GE Transportation are expanding the program to include all terminals and shipping lines.

Because of the pilot’s success, the Port of Los Angeles and GE Transportation have agreed to new commercial agreements worth up to nearly $12 million and extended their relationship for at least five years. The agreements, subject to review by the Los Angeles City Council, will be far reaching, supporting approximately nine million TEUs (20-foot shipping containers), more than 15,000 truck providers and thousands of cargo importers. 

“With our container volumes at record highs, the GE digital shipping solution is critical to our future success,” says Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles. “The GE portal is an investment in the long-term growth of the Port of Los Angeles and tells our stakeholders and customers that we take seriously our responsibility to find new ways to drive efficiencies and optimization. We believe this project will not only move the needle but could be a game changer.”

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

To inform the next phase of the collaboration, the port and GE Transportation surveyed users involved in the initial pilot.

Spokesmen say that results “were overwhelmingly positive” with most respondents agreeing the data in the portal is easy to understand and easy to access.

“This project has been a home run,” says John Ochs, senior director at APM Terminals, the site of the pilot project. “The Port of Los Angeles has transformed data into information that can be utilized by stakeholders to optimize their goods movement processes.

View the Port Information Portal here.

In a recent video, he also describes the development as a “magnitude leap.In an interview with LM, spokesmen say the port regards this as a “digital infrastructure” investment.

“Just like we build wharves and container terminal projects, this is a digital infrastructure investment that we believe will pay dividends for years to come,” he adds.

Truckers also number among the stakeholders cheering this announcement. Weston LaBar, executive director of the Harbor Trucking Association, notes that a rucking dispatcher may visit up to 40 websites a day just to coordinate cargo movement into the port complex.

“Having a single portal, a single reference point, will create new levels of efficiency that we’ve been seeking for a long time,” he says.

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About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson

Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor specializing in international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He is based in San Francisco, where he provides a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. He may be reached at his downtown office: [email protected].

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