New cargo tracking system for Port of Los Angeles

The Port of Los Angeles is to launch a $13m programme to digitize cargo data at all of its terminals with the aim of easing bottlenecks at the port.

The programme, said the be the first of its kind, was piloted successfully at one terminal earlier this year. The port will be able to track packages from the when they leave a distribution centre through a single platform.

Los Angeles port Executive Director Gene Seroka said that at the moment shippers relied on “a mishmash of networks to track goods at the port complex”. He said that the sheer number of data sources could get confusing and slow down movement for everyone who touches the cargo until it’s delivered, from the railroad operators to the truck owners.

The new programme accelerates the transport of goods and provides retailers and shippers two weeks’ advance notice, giving them time to plan and prepare for transport, up from the current two to four days’ notice before cargo arrives. Under an agreement with software maker General Electric, the port will place cargo data for six

more terminals and 15 shipping lines under one platform, although Los Angeles City Council ultimately must approve the contract, which allows the port a small percentage of revenue should GE sell the product to other clients for five years. The port also agreed to participate in promotional activities with the company.