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More ports to join Supply Chain Information Highway

Dive Brief:

  • The Port of Long Beach’s Supply Chain Information Highway will expand to the Northwest Seaport Alliance and the Utah Inland Port Authority after going live at the Port of Oakland in July, Noel Hacegaba, deputy executive director of administration and operations, told Supply Chain Dive on Tuesday.
  • The system will also launch at the five other Long Beach terminals following its debut at the Long Beach Container Terminal. Shippers, shipping lines, railroads and trucking firms have joined the data sharing platform since February, Hacegaba said.
  • The Port of Long Beach seeks to recruit additional ports and supply chain stakeholders to extend the platform’s reach nationwide. “Our vision is not just end-to-end visibility,” Hacegaba said, “but also coast-to-coast.”

Dive Insight:

The partnerships won’t end in Oakland, Seattle, Takoma and Utah. Long Beach officials also have reached out to East Coast port counterparts about joining the Information Highway, Hacegaba said. He declined to reveal which ones.

“It all depends on how many more port authorities we can get to partner with us and also how many companies we can enlist,” Hacegaba said.

The platform, announced in December, demonstrated a $400,000 proof of concept in February. The Utah port and Northwest Seaport Alliance will join after the Port of Oakland, the platform’s first external adopter, gets up and running this summer, Hacegaba said.

Amazon Web Services will serve as the cloud computing vendor for the Information Highway, which was developed by St. Louis-based tech firm UNCOMN, officials announced Tuesday.

AWS’ role has expanded in the two years that the Information Highway has been under development, Hacegaba said. Initially, AWS helped the Port of Long Beach “define the problem,” he said, employing the “working-backwards process.” Now, the cloud provider will store the data in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to make it secure and accessible for ports and companies that join the free platform, he said.

The AWS announcement and the growing number of partners joining the initiative “speak to the value of what we’re doing,” Hacegaba said. “[It] speaks to the way that we were able to design this.”

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