Create a successful public-private agency partnership based on good communications, flexibility, and minimal impact to partners' customers to deploy new technology.

A Washington State experience with testing of electronic container door seals through a freight supply chain.

Washington,United States

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Lesson Learned

Over the duration of this ITS project, there were considerable institutional, technological, and operational challenges that adversely affected the project schedule. The project’s public and private partners exhibited dogged persistence in resolving these issues. In the end, the successful working relationships among the partners resulted in the development and deployment of a successful system, despite a one-year schedule slip.

The evaluation identified a number of elements that contributed to this successful partnership:
  • Recognize that communication among participants is important. For this project, the stakeholders remained supportive of the program over a fairly lengthy deployment process; in large part this was due to a good working relationship fostered by a strong communication process. Successful communications efforts included regular project conference calls, stakeholder group meetings, and presentations about the project to trade organizations.
  • Support flexibility on the part of the stakeholders. Flexibility will contribute to the success of a public-private partnership. For example, while deploying this ITS, operations staff from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Customs Service, and several marine shipping lines and trucking companies were willing to establish new operating procedures within the confines of the test while still maintaining their own daily business functions.
  • Design the deployment so that there is minimal impact to the partners' customers. It was critical to the private freight industry partners that their participation in the project not result in any disruption to their customers For example, in an effort to minimize interactions with customers, one shipping line provided an agent to install the E-seals in the Japanese port and instructed its truck drivers to cut off the E-seals after they exited the United States.
The good working relationships among the project’s public and private participants helped ensure that the E-Seal test moved forward. The ensuing flexibility and effective communications enabled this test to be a success. Although there were considerable delays due to both operational and technological issues, the project was completed due to the cooperation and dedication of the partners.

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WSDOT Intermodal Data Linkages Freight ITS Operational Test Evaluation Final Report Part 1: Electronic Container Seals Evaluation

Author: M. Jensen, M. Williamson, R. Sanchez, A. Newton, C. Mitchell

Published By: U.S. Department of Transportation

Source Date: 12/1/2002

EDL Number: 13770

Other Reference Number: FHWA-OP-02-XXX

URL: https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/34487

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Lesson Contacts

Lesson Contact(s):

Edward McCormack
Washington State Transportation Center

Agency Contact(s):

Edward McCormack
Washington State Transportation Center

Lesson Analyst:

Firoz Kabir


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Lesson of the Month for August, 2007 !

Lesson ID: 2005-00078