The Biden-Harris Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation has announced the launch of a major supply chain initiative, Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW), to help speed up delivery times and reduce consumer costs.
Recent supply chain disruptions have raised national awareness of the need for improved information exchange. The lack of digital infrastructure and transparency makes supply chains brittle and unable to adapt when faced with a shock. The goods movement chain is almost entirely privately operated and spans shipping lines, ports, terminal operators, truckers, railroads, warehouses, and cargo owners such as retailers. These different actors have made great strides in digitizing their own internal operations, but they do not always exchange information with each other.
FLOW is an information sharing initiative to pilot key freight information exchange between parts of the goods movement supply chain. It includes eighteen initial participants that represent diverse perspectives across the supply chain, including private businesses, trucking, warehousing, and logistics companies, ports, and more — with the hope and expectation to include more partners going forward.
These key stakeholders will work together with the Administration to develop an information exchange to ease supply chain congestion, speed up the movement of goods, and ultimately cut costs for Americans.
Initial partners of FLOW include the Port of Long Beach, the Port of Los Angeles, and the Georgia Ports Authority as well as various industry specialists, terminal operators, carriers and logistics providers.
While starting with a limited pilot, DOT wants to hear from others who are interested in engaging as part of FLOW as a participant as the initiative grows.