Tag Archives: computing

Port of LA leader calls for industrywide digital transformation

Gene Seroka, Executive Director of the Port of LA, is calling on people to cooperate and share data on logistics activities. He wants to see a bold information transformation, for the maritime industry and also for on-shore logistics. He was put in charge of coronavirus-related logistics by the Mayor of Los Angeles, a very big job in addition to his own.

In the video you get to hear him directly.

He makes great claims for the Port of LA logistics information systems. But the port has needed to be dragged kicking and screaming into the digital age. It’s taken much longer to get them to act than it had to. Scholars and also logistics participants such as forwarders, shippers, and NVOOCs (Non-vessel-owning ocean carriers, sort of freight forwarders for ocean cargoes) have been screaming for coordination of systems ever since the 2000’s. It’s just very hard to do without standards. And it takes forever to negotiate standards that don’t place some participants at a disadvantage.

The role of standards could be a lot like their role in the PC market. Used to be, when you bought a PC you had to buy the disk drive, and memory from the same vendor– it had to be compatible. Software also must be compatible with the operating system. Nowadays, these parts are made to standards, and you can go buy any replacement or upgrade memory or disk that are compatible, You can even replace your hard drive with a matching SSD that is transparent to the computer. The adoption of standards allowed computers to become affordable, software to work on all the hardware, and be useful for all. It’s called a network effect. The same is true for logistics software. To connect partners together they need to each conform to standards of data structure (schemas, we call them) and standards of transmission. Nowadays the buzzword for this is APIs, but the concept has had lots of names over the years. My favorite was ‘middleware’.

And the need to share has to be seen by the prospects as more important than preserving the confidentiality of their company data. That is perhaps the largest barrier. So participants have to see tangible economic benefits to sharing, and that is sometimes hard to get direct evidence of. Even the economic network effect is hard to justify economically with hard numbers.

Gene Seroka is a good leader, and for coronavirus, we hope he is able to pull together what’s needed for the job.

Kim Link-Wills, Senior EditorWednesday, September 16, 2020

Port of LA leader calls for industrywide digital transformation (with video) – FreightWaves
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Blockchain not yet for supply chains

Gartner says 80% of blockchain supply chain developments won’t get out of design and development for several years.  So many of them are just recycling financial blockchain ideas into supply chain space without understanding the issues.  A case of a solution chasing a problem, the bugaboo of ITY initiatives forever.

I’d like to get my hands on this report from Gartner.  It should be interesting.

The Gartner source below says 90%!!! I like that number better as an estimate.

Here’s a quote from the latter press release from Gartner:

“The budding nature of blockchain makes it almost impossible for organizations to identify and target specific high-value use cases. Instead, companies are forced to run multiple development pilots using trial and error to find ones that might provide value.  …

Furthermore, current creations offered by solution providers are complicated hybrids of conventional blockchain technologies.”

Exactly.

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 via Blockchain may be the way ahead for supply chains – but not yet – The Loadstar

Another source: https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2019-05-07-gartner-predicts-90–of-blockchain-based-supply-chain

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SAE International forms microbility data standards consortium

SAE is the former Society of Automotive Engineers, and has been a leader in standard setting for many years.  There is clearly a need for standards around data for shared bike and scooter services, for instance.  The main cooperators are Miami-Dade County, Jump, Spin, and Populus (a data platform).

A similar effort by Los Angeles called the Mobility Data Specification (MDS) led to major complaints from Uber and Lyft, the ride-hailing service operators.   They don’t want to be bound by the rules.  Other cities have been following the MDS as well.

Perhaps such a consortium effort could help resolve these problems. I’m surprised there isn’t communication between the Los Angeles group and the SAE.

screenshot-Smart Cities Dive 2019-05-23   AUTHOR  via SAE International to form microbility data standards consortium | Smart Cities Dive