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The Supply Chain Digital Transformation Hackathon, held by USC’s Marshall School of Business Center for Global Supply Chain Management, leads to innovative prototype applications that can address crucial problems facing America’s shippers and supply chains.

At this year’s Hackathon, held on August 5 and 6, 16 teams competed to design innovative data-sharing and IT solutions to the two business problems described below.

At the 2017 Global Supply Chain Excellence Summit on August 9, U.S. business and supply chain leaders will choose the winners of this year’s competition.  As Summit participants, you will be able to help promote the industry development of technologies that resolve these problems and can improve your bottom line.  These prototypes included:

  • An automated mobile trucking appointment system that uses algorithms to match terminal operators, drivers, and loads, while optimizing dual moves. Download here
  • An application that integrates shipper enterprise resource planning with warehouse management systems, using machine learning to translate shipper-warehouse data and improve communication. Download here
  • An optimized, AI-based trucking appointment system that facilitates dual transactions, helps balance port traffic, improves container stacking and yard use, and allows real-time visualization of key performance indicators. Download here
  • A digital tool that recognizes and memorizes patterns in shipper and warehouse data to achieve near-immediate new customer integration into ERP and WMS systems. Download here

The Hackathon, held annually by the Center, brings together practitioners, experts, and USC supply chain and technology students over a 24-hour period to develop solutions to business problems that impact supply chain and port efficiency and impede the global competitiveness of U.S. supply chains.

The prototypes developed at each Hackathon are designed to be shared with America’s supply chain stakeholders and IT sector, to promote the market availability of data-sharing technologies that improve the bottom line for America’s supply chain stakeholders and facilitate our flow of freight and trade.

The Hackathon also helps the Center educate and develop the supply chain and technology workforce that is crucial to the success of America’s manufacturers and supply chains in the 21st Century.

USC’s Marshall School of Business Center for Global Supply Chain Management, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, established the hackathon series in November 2016 to help foster the development and market availability of advanced information technologies that can facilitate the flow of American trade and commerce through our ports and supply chains and into the global marketplace.  Key Center sponsors and partners, such as the Port of Los Angeles and Saybrook Capital, provide the Center with the support, resources, and expertise needed for the annual hackathons and to help further the Center’s mission.

Supply Chain Digital Transformation Hackathon 2017

The hackathon participants chose one of two problem statements for their competition entry:

#1. Create a smart application which can seamlessly integrate a shipper’s inventory and order management system with warehouse and transportation management systems. The app should be secure, system vendor agnostic and have a user friendly interface

Background: Warehouses today operate using one of many Warehouse Management Systems (WMS). Customers operate using Enterprise Resource Planning tools (ERP). In order to operate efficiently the ERP and WMS systems must operate seamlessly. When a customer brings on a new warehouse operator the integration timeframe is usually between 60-90 days. That integration, if accomplished on an automated basis, would reducing switching costs, increase warehouse productivity, and facilitate a global warehouse digital marketplace. Without automated instantaneous integration, the system will continue to bog down.

The challenge for the hackers is to devise an automated instantaneous integration process.

The Finalists:

1)       Team Twinkle                 Download the PDF Presentation

2)       Team Gak                       Download the PDF Presentation

#2. Develop an appointment system that notifies truckers with a specific time window to drop off and pickup cargo efficiently.  The appointment system should also be able to spread out traffic in two 8-hour windows in order to ease congestion at the port.

Background: Truck congestion that can exist at the Port is not caused by a lack of resources or infrastructure, but by the absence of planning tools and data. The Port believes that a Port-wide appointment or reservation system needs to be implemented to allow for the coordination of activities between Marine Terminal Operators (MTOS’) and the drayage trucking companies.  The movement of containers into and out of the Port is not a series of linear transactions, but rather a complex set challenges that involve many different actors and variables.

Containers enter or leave each MTO by either Ocean, Road or Rail, for this problem we are focused only on road moves.  The appointment system must allow for truckers to schedule moves that involve dropping off a container (for export or empty) at one MTO and then picking an import container at the same or another MTO within a window of time that is both practical and efficient. This process is continuous, so the next move is also the return of a container. There are currently 13 MTO’s across the Ports and each requires a minimum of 24 hours’ notice for import pickups to schedule resources and plan to position container. There is a finite number of containers that can be handled per hour at each MTO and to ensure that bottlenecks and resulting congesting do not occur, the appointment system need to take into account the optimal time for each move to take place.  The appointment system also needs to allow for changing external variables such as road conditions outside of the Port, MTO closure and changes in location for the return of container after the appointment has been made. The appointments will be made by the truckers for their customer’s containers, but MTO’s need to be able to alter moves that affect their terminal.

The Finalists:

1)       Team Kraken                      Download the PDF Presentation

2)       Team Intelliport                 Download the PDF Presentation

Other Participants Included:

5)            Team Agile

6)            Team Gabada

7)            Team Five Guys

8)            Team Trux

9)            Team Port LA-SJ

10)          Team SCSH

11)          Team Drayage

12)          Team SLUGS