DHS approves Jax tech firm to improve port security

By Junior Skepple  Reporter Jacksonville Business Journal

nativecyberresolutions_750xx3457-1955-0-497idSoftware, an identification software company with offices in Jacksonville, has earned approval from the Department of Homeland Security for its SecureGate Ports technology. The identification software provides ports and port tenants with electronic security that can read and verify a worker’s credential, minimizing the chances of unauthorized personnel in secure areas.

The Business Journal spoke with the President and CEO of idSoftware, Jim Strey, and asked him how the software works and how many ports are using the new technology.

How does the technology work?

The Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) is what employees need to enter a secured area of a port. Before our technology the TWIC card was seen as a “flash pass.” It was something that would be seen by a security guard from feet away with no real way of authenticating the card. The TWIC card now contains silos of information and certificates on the card that have to be challenged. The software also checks the expiration date so that we know the TWIC card is current and it also checks the card against a list the TSA produces every night of cancelled cards.

Has unauthorized personnel gaining entrance in to secure areas at ports been an issue in the past?

Yes. The history of this goes all the way back to days after 9/11 when Congress enacted a law that stiffened who has access to the country’s ports. Before this electronic verification the process was as simple as showing up to a port and showing your card with no real verification. There were many instances before where people should not have been let on the port.

How many ports are using SecureGate technology?

There are approximately 100 ports and terminal operations using this technology. Our company has 44 ports and private operators using our SecureGate technology system, with four being in the state of Florida.

JTA launches TryTransit Challenge

 

jta-transit-busThe Jacksonville Transportation Authority is launching their TryTransit Challenge this month. The TryTransit Challenge is an initiative plan to promote an economical and sustainable alternative to driving in Jacksonville.

 

The ridership campaign is kicking off today with chairman of the JTA board, Isaiah Rumlin, riding the Skyway with Councilman Bill Gulliford, from the Hemming Park park station.

 

The JTA’s TryTransit initiative will feature numerous campaigns and strategically positioned advertisements that are designed to attract potential customers to leave their cars at home and try one of the JTA’s convenient modes of travel.

JTA hopes to encourage existing customers to explore and travel to additional destinations taking the Skyway to the St. Johns Rivers Ferry, the trolleys, fixed-route buses and the new First Coast Flyer rapid transit service

Four Trends that Will Shape Supply Chain and Logistics in 2017

by Erik Malin On Jan 24, 2017

1. Growth of the Tech-Enabled Logistics Provider

Technology permeates every area of the supply chain. Tracking solutions, sensors and other devices embedded in cargo and vehicles provide a real-time picture of assets (of all types, not simply trucks) in the field. On the backend, transportation management systems (TMSs) are becoming increasingly sophisticated, providing comprehensive transportation management from end to end.

Shippers and carriers will continue to lean on providers in 2017 as the tech leaders. Both parties, along with receivers, will look to smart logistics providers to tie seamless TMSs together with onboard tracking platforms and inventory management. The goal is optimized supply chains connecting in transit based on a real-time inventory snapshot.

2.  Constricting Freight Market?

For much of the past year or so, shippers enjoyed favorable rates thanks to relatively highly available capacity. As a result, those who honed in on spot rates may have seen short-term cost savings, while those who focused on strategic carrier relationships traded potentially higher rates for long-term mutual benefits.

Recent reports indicate the pendulum may swing back in favor of the strategic approach, as capacity tightened modestly over the past few months. Several factors will influence whether this is a long-term or seasonal shift. Shippers and their logistics providers should keep a close eye on potential spikes in fuel cost, and pending hours of service and driver wage regulation, which will impact capacity in the coming years. In the case of market constriction, those with locked-in, long-term carrier relationships will reap the benefits—greater access to consistent and reliable capacity, more stable rates, and the ease and efficiency which come with familiarity.

3.  Mastering E-Commerce Logistics

Online purchases continue to account for an increasingly large portion of overall retail sales. In fact, the U.S. recently experienced the highest e-commerce penetration in history, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. This completely reset consumer expectations and, in turn, retailers’ delivery policies. Next-day and even same-day delivery are fast becoming the norm and retailers now have more stringent delivery deadlines (not to mention fees for late deliveries). The e-commerce pie only continues to grow and retailers will continue to grapple for their share. We’ll likely see retailers establish a continuously broad network of distribution and fulfillment facilities near dense population centers. Enhanced business intelligence and in-vehicle technology will also be key, as retailers and their logistics providers seek ways to trim the e-commerce-related factors that historically drive costs higher, like high fuel consumption and inefficient routing.  Many retailers already established e-commerce delivery networks. Conquering the art of cost containment will be the next step

4. Digital Freight Matching versus Driverless Trucks

Uber’s acquisition of self-driving trucking platform Otto sent a message to supply chain stakeholders: Silicon Valley has commercial transportation and logistics in the crosshairs. Reaction varied, and many set their sights on the potential for driverless or co-piloted trucks. But it’s another aspect of the deal—Uber’s long-term goal to establish a national digital freight matching (DFM) network—that may be more intriguing in the short term for logistics providers.

The two don’t necessarily fall hand in hand. Though driverless trucks may have more curb appeal, DFM apps could change the way shippers connect with carriers (and how logistics providers do business). In their current form, DFM apps could work for smaller-scale shippers, but not those with a large, regional and national footprint. More importantly, DFM apps will drive the industry at large (including third-party logistics or 3PLs) to innovate and develop more advanced TMSs, as well as challenge providers to diversify services.

Technology advances will continue to drive seismic shifts in the logistics industry in 2017 and we’ve only scratched the surface for what that could look like. Each stakeholder within the supply chain will address these areas in different ways, but ultimately, with the same goals: To provide higher quality customer service and more efficient, secure transportation.

 

 

JAXPORT CEO talks about challenges facing the port in 2017

JAXPORT CEO Brian Taylor addressed a crowd of about 200 people Thursday at the University of North Florida, recapping 2016 and looking into the future at the port’s annual State of the Port Address.jax-port-cranes

Although JAXPORT had a record-setting year in terms of twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) moved through the port, Taylor said he sees four main challenges facing the port in 2017 and beyond: Container alliances, global trade agreements, the political landscape, and the international economy, are concerns for the port that Taylor said leads to much uncertainty going forward.

In April of 2017, three major container partnerships, the Ocean Alliance, The Alliance, and the 2M Alliance will finalize their service operations and deployments. The partnerships will collectively control 87 percent of global container capacity in the world. All three of the alliances are currently operating out of JAXPORT, but their operations can change through altered trade agreements with the United States.

The Trump administration removed the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the renegotiation of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are issues crucial to the success of JAXPORT. With Asian container movement through JAXPORT rising 19 percent in 2016, free trade between the U.S. and the Asian-Pacific region are imperative to the success of the JAXPORT.

“In the U.S. so many of the things we enjoy everyday can only be produced in the quantity and quality and the timeliness that we want them here in this market is in the Asian-Pacific region,” said JAXPORT CEO, Brian Taylor. “The opportunity lies in creating smarter trade agreements with better terms for all ensuring that global commerce can continue.”

China was also a big topic at the State of the Port address. Taylor said 17 percent of Chinese exports, roughly 4 percent of their gross domestic product, is tied to trade with the United States. He also said 24 percent of U.S. exports are moving through China. President Trump signing an executive order removing the U.S. from the TPP, has given China the opportunity to come to their own trade agreement with the 11 nations that were included in the TPP