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A pilot project at the Port of Long Beach, aimed at improving cargo flow, has led to positive results including improved turn times, increased throughput and more productive turns – all leading to increased supply chain performance. 

The three-month technology pilot – Port Optimizer – was launched in August by GE Transportation and the Port of Longbeach. It saw stakeholders use GE’s Port Optimizer software to access data the firm claimed would allow them to move cargo containers more efficiently.

Three of the Port’s six container terminals were involved – Long Beach Container Terminal, Total Terminals International and International Transportation Service.

Now, the initial outcomes of the pilot include proven advanced visibility of incoming cargo, with 14+ days faster access to information; improved turn times while increasing throughput; and more productive turns; all leading to increased supply chain performance. Equally as important, the pilot deepened technology and stakeholder collaborations, says GE Transportation. 

The firm adds pilot participants are excited about the opportunity to expand usage of the platform across the greater San Pedro Bay port complex following the system’s debut at the Port of Los Angeles last year.

“Many of our industry’s inefficiencies are the result of a lack of transparency between stakeholders, which creates an inability to plan operations in advance,” explains Weston LaBar, CEO of the Harbor Trucking Association. “On a typical day, a trucker/dispatcher will need to access more than 40 websites to facilitate their operations in the port. This system will aggregate data from all stakeholders, condense it in one single access point, and allow truckers to begin planning their operations at least ten days in advance of containers being ready for pick-up. This portal has the potential to solve many of the problems we deal with today.”

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Port Optimizer enhances cargo flow as participating terminal operators and other stakeholders receive much-improved advance notice of cargo arrival, coordinated with data on the availability of equipment, labour and other resources needed to move that cargo through the supply chain.

For the Port of Long Beach pilot, GE launched additional Port Optimizer functionality for marine terminal operator and landside transportation integrations, to facilitate better planning and gate transactions. For example, GE expanded drayage final mile capabilities through a collaboration with Envio 360 that enables real-time, port-to-door visibility to bring goods to market in a more reliable and predictable manner.

The Port of Long Beach Board of Commissioners will be reviewing the results of the pilot in the coming weeks.

“We were very pleased with the level of participation and engagement from our customers and supply chain stakeholders during the pilot demonstration,” says Noel Hacegaba, deputy executive/COO at the Port of Long Beach. “We look forward reviewing the results of the pilot with our board and determining the next steps in our participation in the Port Optimizer portal.”