Release Date: 09 June 2008
Release ID: 1051
The US Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) and the Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) commemorated the launch of an E-tag cargo tracking demonstration project today. With the use of an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology system, the GPA and the SIPG will track cargo movement in real time from its point of origin to its final destination.
The GPA has had a partnership with SIPG, the world’s second largest port, since 2004. This partnership includes cooperation on operations, marketing, and information technology. Recently the two ports developed a demonstration project equipping RFID tags, or “E-Tags,” on the container boxes of ships sailing from Shanghai to the Port of Savannah situated in the East Coast of USA in the State of Georgia. Since March 2008, weekly sailings have had about 150 tags per vessel from Shanghai to Savannah. Recently, the GPA has begun sending containers with E-tags from Savannah to Shanghai, making it a two-way operation.
This demonstration project is a bold, proactive move by both ports. “By joining forces with the SIPG, we are improving the flow of trade and security through better technology,” said GPA’s Chairman of its Board of Directors Steve Green. “This program will also have a big impact on U.S. security and that of our trading partners.”
“The threat against terrorism, stowaways and food contamination has made real-time container monitoring throughout the logistics chain an immediate necessity,” said SIPG’s Vice-President Bao Qifan. “China is the first to mobilize resources such as ports, shipping companies, cargo owners and the Customs and put the technology into use on a commercial shipping line.”
Port of Savannah is the fastest growing port in the U.S. and the fourth largest. “Savannah now handles nearly half of total Mid- and South Atlantic trade with Shanghai,” said GPA’s Executive Director Doug J. Marchand. “We offer one of the largest selections of all-water service between Shanghai and the East Coast of the U.S. Together, we are the first to bring together ports, shipping companies, cargo owners and customers to employ this new technology.”
Also on 3 June, Georgia Logistics Innovation Center (LINC) in coordination with the GPA and SIPG hosted the E-tag Technology Roundtable: A look at the present and future, which was open to the public. The Roundtable held in Savannah included brief presentations followed by discussion and commentary by academic, industry and government experts in the area of cargo container tracking technology, its application and future developments.
The State of Georgia plays host to 15 Fortune 500 companies and is headquarters to some of the world’s largest corporations including Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, UPS, Delta Airlines, Ciba Vision and Earthlink. More than 20 retailers operate import distribution centers in close proximity to the port that combine to move 600,000 TEUs annually, or 45% of all Savannah’s imports. Another 70-plus Georgia distribution centers are within 5 hours. Savannah-area distribution centers include Target, Dollar Tree, Fred’s, Pier 1 Imports, Wal-Mart, Kmart-Sears, IKEA, Best Buy, Lowe’s, Bass Pro Shops, Hugo Boss, Tire Rack, Dole, Hasbro, Academy Sports, Petco and The Home Depot.
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