U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Releases New Report to Boost U.S. Port Efficiency and Competitiveness


Thursday, January 12, 2017

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today issued a new report, Improving American Competitiveness: Best Practices by U.S. Port Communities, that documents operational best practices that leading U.S. ports and supply chains have implemented to overcome challenges associated with increasing vessel sizes, trade volumes, and industry complexity. The American Association of Port Authorities estimates that for every $1 billion in exports that are shipped through U.S. seaports, 15,000 U.S. jobs are created.

“More than 70 percent of America’s international merchandise trade flows through our seaports, linking our producers and retailers with their sources and customers and our nation’s supply chains with the global economy,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The efficiency and productivity of U.S. seaports and their connecting infrastructure is crucial to our nation’s ability to successfully compete in the global marketplace.”

The report suggests critical actions that could improve efficiency and competitiveness, including:

  • Establishing comprehensive working groups, with broad stakeholder participation, that serve as forums for productive communication and collaboration;
  • Using port community information-sharing technologies that improve operational efficiency and cargo status data flow between a port and its stakeholders;
  • Implementing operational improvements that facilitate container chassis availability, allow more efficient planning and scheduling, improve terminal use, and reduce truck turnaround times; and,
  • Working with local educational institutions to improve existing port workforce skills, retention rates, and recruitment.

This report is a deliverable under the Department’s 21st Century U.S. Port Competitiveness Initiative. This initiative features port efficiency roundtables with industry; a strategic government-academia partnership to improve supply chain technology; and recommendations by the Department’s Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness. These best practices are shared so individual port communities can consider adopting comparable measures that are appropriate to their circumstances.

For more information on the 21st Century Port Competitiveness Initiative, please e-mail portcompetitiveness@trade.gov.

Last updated: 2017-01-12 18:58

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