A White House pilot to share freight data among shippers and supply chain stakeholders has doubled in size, with participants beginning to exchange information.
The Freight Logistics Optimization Works initiative has expanded to 36 members, with ports, terminal operators and major carriers such as BNSF and J.B. Hunt joining as partners. The group met on Wednesday to discuss ongoing progress of the program, which aims to provide more visibility into pressure points across the supply chain, the U.S. Department of Transportation said.
“The start of data sharing between industry and USDOT is an important milestone for FLOW," said Port and Supply Chain Envoy Gen. Stephen Lyons, who added that the program will help businesses "make more informed decisions that will improve the movement of goods along our supply chain."
18 companies join White House data sharing initiative
Goals of the pilot, announced by the Biden administration in March, include providing more insight into issues such as chassis availability and dwell time, according to a release at the time. Data is secured and available to participants who share information.
The membership expansion represents the first addition of a rail carrier. Legislators had noticed the absence: In April, Sen. Roger Wicker, a Republican from Mississippi who is ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, sent the Department of Transportation a letter urging the agency to incorporate "feedback from a broad array of transportation stakeholders and shippers."
The Department of Transportation expects the voluntary program to grow in the coming months and plans to hold listening sessions with small businesses and technology experts.
Chris Kempa, CEO of True Value Company, said in a statement that so far "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," he added.