Los Angeles data monopoly fears raised

Industry Database

Fears of a lack of transparency and possible creation of a data monopoly at Los Angeles have raised questions about the port’s Port Optimizer project.

Speaking exclusively to Port Strategy, Advent Intermodal Solutions’ chief executive Parvez Mansuri has criticised Los Angeles’ agreement with GE Transportation to create and manage a “community portal” to provide shippers, truckers and other port stakeholders a common window for cargo availability and customs clearance status.

Mr Mansuri flagged up that for-profit company GE Transportation has been incentivised with public money to share data under an agreement which brings benefits for the for-profit entity — a clear conflict of interest, in his view.

“Any approach that puts a single, for-profit entity in charge of a publicly-funded data program is unacceptable,” Mr Mansuri said.

The model in place puts GE Transportation in charge of decisions on who gets access to the data collected and on what terms; the port has no control or stewardship to prevent misallocation or unintended use of the data, he claimed. This leaves the project “devoid of public oversight and typical ‘checks and balances’”, which could, he said, create a data monopoly for GE Transportation.

Mr Mansuri recommended that the port transform its portal program into an open model to drive innovation and transparency.

“A connected community portal concept can play a key role in any port area or terminal operator’s future by extending cargo visibility and providing new collaboration tools to connect, collaborate and streamline day-to-day operations,” he said. “A business model focused on transparency amongst all stakeholders in the container supply chain builds trust and will simply create the fastest path to sustainable success.”

The full article will appear in the December issue of Port Strategy magazine. To request your priority copy, click here.

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