DOT, Supply Chain Companies Collaborate to Speed Up Movement of Goods, Cut Costs for Consumers
Washington, DC -- Today, at the Department of Transportation, Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Port Envoy Gen. Stephen Lyons will host a convening of Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW) partners to advance the development of the initiative and welcome new members. The convening marks an important milestone for FLOW – the number of participants has doubled, and existing partners having begun securely sharing data with USDOT for the first time. At the convening, members who operate across our supply chains will discuss the results of their recent innovative data sharing and how it can help meet the challenges that remain.
FLOW, which was launched in March, is a first-of-its-kind effort by the Biden-Harris Administration and supply chain companies to develop a digital tool that gives companies information on the condition of a node or region in the supply chain so that goods can be moved more quickly and cheaply, ultimately bringing down costs for families. There are now 36 participants that are a part of FLOW, which will grow over the coming months. USDOT also plans to hold listening sessions with small businesses, technology experts, and others.
"The Biden-Harris Administration is proud to bring together companies from across the supply chain in this first-of-its-kind initiative to share information and help move goods more quickly and cheaply," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. "To keep supply chains moving and prices down, we must invest not only in our physical infrastructure but also our digital infrastructure, and FLOW is an important part of that effort."
“The start of data sharing between industry and USDOT is an important milestone for FLOW. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with industry to develop this tool to enable industry to make more informed decisions that will improve the movement of goods along our supply chain,” said Supply Chain Envoy Gen. Stephen Lyons.
Currently, the lack of transparency across supply chain networks makes our supply chain brittle and unable to adapt when faced with an anomaly. Through the FLOW pilot, USDOT is serving as an independent steward of supply chain data across a largely privately-operated enterprise that spans shipping lines, ports, terminal operators, truckers, railroads, warehouses, and beneficial cargo owners. By providing a shared view of the national logistics system, including both supply and demand assets, participants can better understand supply chain capacity nationally.
The solution is better cooperation on foundational freight data exchange so supply chain stakeholders can make better informed decisions that will reduce shipping costs, and ultimately cut costs for consumers. Supply chain parties deserve reliable, predictable, and accurate information about goods movement. The recent supply chain disruptions have raised a national awareness of the need for an ability to optimize existing asset use through improved information exchange. FLOW will support American businesses throughout the supply chain and improve accuracy of information from end-to-end for a more resilient supply chain.
The Biden-Harris Administration has focused on addressing supply chain congestion, speeding up the movement of goods and lowering costs for families. The Administration is also focusing on addressing the structural weaknesses in the goods movement chain that the pandemic exposed, the result of decades of underinvestment, outsourcing, and offshoring over long-term security, sustainability, and resilience. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is making a generational investment in our ports, highways, and other parts of our physical infrastructure to lower costs.
Participants in FLOW include:
• APM Terminals
• Becton, Dickinson, and Company
• CH Robinson
• CMA CGM
• Consolidated Chassis Management
• C&K Trucking
• Fenix Marine Services
• Gemini Shippers
• Georgia Ports Authority
• Global Container Terminals
• J.B. Hunt
• Port of Long Beach
• Port of Los Angeles
• Procter & Gamble
• TRAC Intermodal
• True Value
• Werner Enterprises
• West Basin Container Terminal
• Yusen Terminals
Statements of support:
“As a beneficial cargo owner, Albertsons Companies understands the value of sharing and utilizing real time data to be able to make essential decisions in the flow of product to accommodate demand and potentially avoid costly delays. The participation with the US Department of Transportation, along with the collaboration from various supply chain partners, is an exciting step towards streamlining the process that can help everyone in the flow of goods.”
– Albertsons Companies
“Over the past year, I have had the honor to serve as a member of the FLOW initiative organized by the United States Department of Transportation. This effort is proving to be a groundbreaking first step in creating the supply chain of tomorrow – one that is data driven, responsive, and agile in the face of continual disruption. This effort showcases the progress we can make when we form public-private partnerships, as we work to arm stakeholders with the tools needed to create comprehensive and sustainable solutions that will strengthen the entire supply chain ecosystem.”
– Yone Dewberry, SVP & Chief Supply Chain Officer, Land O’Lakes, Inc.
“Delivering critical medical supplies to patients around the world is an incredibly important aspect of a functional global health care system, and ensuring these life-saving products are available when people need them most is a high priority. As one of the world’s largest medical technology companies, BD is proud to participate in the Biden Administration’s FLOW initiative and to play an active role in addressing the challenges currently facing our global supply chain, which have inevitably slowed the process of delivering critical health care products, as well as other important goods, in the U.S. and around the world.”
– Tom Polen, Chairman, CEO and President, BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company)
“As industry leaders we all have a role to play in ensuring progress is made to overcome the challenges facing global and domestic supply chains. We have been impressed with the public/private collaboration to launch the FLOW program. We are looking forward to helping improve the speed with which we can identify and resolve freight bottlenecks, by increasing collaboration across the freight transportation network and across government agencies.”
– Jason Craig, Director of Government Affairs, C.H. Robinson
“It has been great to collaborate with the FLOW team since the very beginning and see the progress already being made toward achieving true end-to-end visibility that includes every link in the supply chain. This is essential for increasing fluidity of operations in the U.S. and will enable all parties in the supply chain to more accurately forecast and address potential issues. At CMA CGM, we are committed to being part of the solution and continuing to work with the U.S. government to make a real difference for the industry and our customers.”
– Ed Aldridge, President of CMA CGM America and APL North America
“As an active participant in the FLOW initiative, DCLI welcomes the progress that has been made in developing a data sharing process that will improve visibility into the health of our supply chain, enable more effective management of our assets, and ultimately improve service to our customers at major port gateways. We look forward to continuing these efforts in the months ahead.”
– Mike Wells, SVP of Operations, DCLI
“As a chassis-based supply chain solution provider, FlexiVan understands the complexity of the intermodal system and values the US DOT leading a collaborative effort across a diverse set of stakeholders. FLOW is an important step toward improving supply chain efficiency by providing a forward-looking, integrated view of supply chain conditions in the US.”
– Than Seeds, COO of FlexiVan
“The supply chain crisis we faced over the last few years has taught us that businesses need greater visibility to navigate these unprecedented times. By bringing public and private sectors together, FLOW will reduce inefficiencies and enable businesses of all sizes to make better decisions amid the ongoing uncertainty. Flexport’s mission is to make global trade easy for everyone, and we are honored to partner with the Administration on innovative initiatives to strengthen America’s supply chain.”
– Ryan Petersen, CEO of Flexport
“From the start we welcomed this opportunity to collaborate on development of the Biden-Harris Administration’s FLOW project because it will improve our ability to enhance supply chain reliability. It’s a crucial task at an important time, and we are pleased to be engaged in a plan that will benefit U.S. consumers and businesses alike by making this country more competitive in international trade.”
– Mario Cordero, Executive Director, Port of Long Beach
“MSC has for many years been strong supporters of using data sharing and digital technologies to improve fluidity, resilience, transparency, and efficiency in the Supply Chain. This includes our role, along with others in our industry, in establishing the Digital Container Shipping Association. We are excited about the potential for the FLOW project to bring to life a proof of concept platform that can further these objectives and provide real-life experience in the US market.”
– attributed to MSC
“We’ve been pleased to be part of this effort to optimize supply chain operations across the United States and make FLOW a reality. We’re leveraging proprietary logistical data derived from Prologis’ network of 3,200+ U.S. facilities that will help improve the coordination between supply chain players, providing actionable insights that will enable more informed decision making.”
– Chris Caton, Managing Director, Global Strategy and Analytics, Prologis.
“Working through remaining challenges in the supply chain is essential to ensure U.S. consumers have the home appliances and consumer electronics they want and need. Today, data sharing enabling timely cargo delivery is a work in progress but remains incomplete. Fixing this problem will require cooperation with many stakeholders across the supply chain. That is why Samsung is pleased to join the Biden-Harris Administration FLOW initiative and collaborate with the U.S. government and industry partners to enhance supply chain visibility and drive down costs.”
– KS Choi, President and CEO of Samsung Electronics North America
“Target remains committed to finding solutions to the challenges facing the U.S. supply chain. We will continue to work with the Administration and industry leaders to increase data transparency to move goods more efficiently and meet the needs of American families and the U.S. economy.”
– Scott Fremont, Target’s Vice President of Transportation
“TRAC Intermodal, the nation’s leading marine chassis provider, is eager to contribute its extensive experience, resources and insights to help improve the flow of goods and the overall fluidity of trade. We are honored to participate in the Administration’s Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW) initiative to exchange valued information and share data that will help all participants as we work collaboratively to build a more competitive and resilient supply chain for the future.”
– Daniel Walsh, President & CEO, TRAC Intermodal
“From the outset we’ve been excited to be part of the inaugural group in the FLOW initiative. The great work the group has done so far has only increased our enthusiasm for its mission. All the participants have shared critical data that will collectively give us the ability to solve some of these supply chain bottlenecks. We believe it will help us deliver products to our customers more efficiently and in a more cost-effective way.”
– Chris Kempa, CEO of True Value Company
“The challenge of supply chain complexities needs to be solved by many. Collaboration is vital across industries to streamline the intricate exchange of information. The FLOW initiative is a well-organized, thoughtful approach to aligning stakeholders toward common supply chain goals.”
– Andy Damkroger, Vice President Logistics, Werner Enterprises