1) Fact Sheet: Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Initiative to Improve Supply Chain Data Flow
Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW) Will Speed Up Delivery Times and Reduce Consumer Costs
White House to Host Launch Event Today with Key Industry Stakeholders
[T]he Biden-Harris Administration is announcing the launch of Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW), an information sharing initiative to pilot key freight information exchange between parts of the goods movement supply chain. FLOW includes eighteen initial participants that represent diverse perspectives across the supply chain, including private businesses, trucking, warehousing, and logistics companies, ports, and more. These key stakeholders will work together with the Administration to develop a proof-of-concept information exchange to ease supply chain congestion, speed up the movement of goods, and ultimately cut costs for American consumers. DOT will lead this effort, playing the role of an honest broker and convener to bring supply chain stakeholders together to problem solve and overcome coordination challenges. This initial phase aims to produce a proof-of-concept freight information exchange by the end of the summer.
A Novel Data Sharing Partnership
Recent supply chain disruptions have raised national awareness of the need for improved information exchange. Supply chain stakeholders deserve reliable, predictable, and accurate information about goods movement and FLOW will test the idea that cooperation on foundational freight digital infrastructure is in the interest of both public and private parties. FLOW is designed to support businesses throughout the supply chain and improve accuracy of information from end-to-end for a more resilient supply chain.
Resiliency—the ability to recover from an unexpected shock—requires visibility, agility, and redundancy. The lack of digital infrastructure and transparency makes our 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. This lack of information exchange can cause delays as cargo moves from one part of the supply chain to another, driving up costs and increasing goods movement fragility.
This effort shows a strong and deliberate response by the Administration to tackle this challenge head-on and set the country on the right trajectory for a resilient and globally competitive 21st century goods movement chain. The Biden-Harris Administration is laser focused and creative in identifying ways to speed up the movement of goods from ships to shelves and cut costs for American consumers. With FLOW, the Biden Administration will play a leadership role in bringing companies together to problem solve for the American people. Initial partners in FLOW include:
Port of Long Beach
Port of Los Angeles
Georgia Ports Authority
Fenix Marine Terminal
Global Container Terminals
Land O’ Lakes
Logistics and Warehousing:
These first partners are committed to working with the Biden-Harris Administration to identify and operationalize a first information exchange that will support a more resilient and fluid supply chain. They represent stakeholders throughout the supply chain including large BCOs (beneficial cargo owners) like Target, small and medium size businesses represented by True Value and Gemini Shippers, as well as agricultural producers such as Land O’Lakes. FLOW will be able to address issues such as ensuring early return dates are consistent across partners, measuring more accurate chassis availability and understanding aggregate dwell time throughout the supply chain. The principles of the pilot include the following: it is a voluntary, secure national exchange for freight information, it is available to participants who share data, and it is sustained by supply chain operational improvement.
For additional interested parties, the Biden-Harris Administration is launching a webpage to gauge additional stakeholder interest in supporting foundational freight infrastructure:
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. Within one month of the FLOW launch, DOT will launch a web page to gauge industry interest in participation and data sharing for a potential long-term FLOW effort.
2) Readout of Supply Chain Event Launching Data Initiative for Greater Supply Chain Resilience
3) Industry Leaders Endorse Biden-Harris Administration Initiative to Improve Supply Chain, Increase Data Sharing (DOT news release)
Today, the Biden-Harris Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation announced the launch of a major supply chain initiative, Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW), to help speed up delivery times and reduce consumer costs.
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.
FLOW builds on the Biden Administration’s continued efforts to address supply chain challenges in both the short term and the long term.