Cloud-based software tool developed by Navy logistics planners helps find the fastest and cheapest route for moving cargo and personnel around the globe.
The U.S. Navy operates one of the world’s largest business enterprises, a floating office park whose equipment and personnel must be available to be shipped anywhere in the world on a moment’s notice. Recently it developed a Web-based tool that helps logistics planners tighten Navy supply lines by identifying unused space on the thousands of military and commercial flights, and ships travelling the globe any given day.
The Transportation Exploitation Tool (TET), whose development was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, is a cloud-based software tool that helps speed the delivery of spare parts, personnel and other supplies via the quickest available route. ONR provides science and technology support to the Navy and Marine Corps.
“This system is truly revolutionary,” ONR program manager Bob Smith told Armed with Science, a Defense Department blog. “TET uses advances in technology to provide outstanding optimization of available flights and ship routes, saving our logisticians enormous amounts of time — and that can literally mean saving lives.”
The tool, developed at the Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP), has saved the Navy more than $30 million in transportation costs to date, an amount the service estimates will grow to $200 million over 10 years, the blog reported.
The search software enables a planner to enter a description of the cargo that needs to be shipped and where it’s going. Then, “Expedia-like,” it shows all the potential routes where space is available and offers recommendations on the most efficient options.
Without the tool, managers had to search multiple databases via multiple interfaces. This often resulted in the need for additional flights to be booked and long delays, according to the blog post.
The TET tool was developed by several ONR teams, led by NAVSUP and including the Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare and Combating Terrorism Department, SwampWorks and Technology Insertion Program for Savings.
Vice Adm. Philip Cullom, deputy chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics, said the tool addresses a critical need for the Navy. Last month, Cullom presented Greg Butler, who led the development of the tool at NAVSUP, with the 2012 Adm. Stan Arthur Award, which recognizes excellence in logistics planning.
“There has been a real need to get things to the fleet faster and more efficiently,” Butler said, “and without breaking the bank in this austere fiscal environment. The naval services continue to work on ways to save money and give our sailors and Marines every advantage we can.”