On Oct. 18, 2021 the Coalition for Reimagined Mobility (formerly known as the Commission on the Future of Mobility) submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation on the need for better leveraging data across the nation’s freight system. Reimagined Mobility’s comments were in response to a request for information published in the Federal Register soliciting practical solutions from a broad range of stakeholders to address current and future challenges to supply chain resilience in the freight and logistics sector.
The Coalition’s comments highlight current challenges the freight sector faces and outline the significant benefits of digital transformation for the sector, including the following:
- COVID-19 exacerbated supply chain vulnerabilities that already existed in the nation’s freight system, which is highly fragmented, has low transparency, and has often been resistant to digital transformation. There is a lack of understanding of where goods are along their journey.
- An estimated 20 percent of global shipping containers and 20 percent of US trucking miles are empty, and significant additional capacity is lost due to idling time at ports, rail lines, roads, and warehouses.
- There is an urgent need for better sharing of data, such as between ships and ports, to help address these inefficiencies. While this can be implemented using today’s technologies, such as GPS (global positioning system) technology, it requires better-defined processes for exchanging and using the data between different industry participants.
- Key benefits would include a more resilient and efficient supply chain, significant reductions in emissions that will help combat climate change, and better utilized essential cargo-handling equipment.
For more information on Reimagined Mobility’s work on freight digitization, please contact Rachel Aland.