SDR Vice President, Jodi Burrows, explains current issues facing the international logistics industry in the online global supply chain publication EBN.

The West Coast port shutdown, which lasted six months due to labor disputes, caused major bottlenecks and slowdowns for the logistics industry, but there is a lesson to be learned from the disruption. “The shutdown highlighted the fragility of the global supply chain, the dependence of logistics companies on the West Coast gateway and the need for technology to improve port efficiency,” Jodi states.

West Coast Port ShutdownDue to the shutdown, many importers and suppliers moved to East Coast or Gulf Coast ports. With the upcoming opening of a third lane of wider locks in the Panama Canal, those ports will become even more competitive. However, the West Coast still accounts for 40% of U.S. trade, meaning moves toward efficiency still remain necessary.

“The long-term solution may lie in technology — specifically, software that improves port efficiency and allows shippers to determine if diverting freight makes sense,” Jodi states. “Greater transparency in information should allow terminal operators to more efficiently allocate resources. And that, ultimately, will help reduce congestion and create additional capacity.”

To read Jodi’s full article, please click here.