Walmart Supplier Glossary: POE

Port of Entry (POE) ia a port at which imported goods enter the country is a port of entry. While the term may conjure up thoughts of seaports with big ships, the smell of the ocean, and the cries of seagulls, POE covers more than that.

As part of the overall supply chain, POE includes not only the docks but the rail or truck facilities connecting the seaport with distribution centers.

Selection of the best POE includes a wide range of factors, including this list from the 2012 Retail Industry Logistics Conference:

  • Channel/Berth Depths
  • Flexibility
  • Drayage Truck Turn Times
  • Highway Infrastructure
  • Intermodal Rail Services
  • Ocean Carriers (Frequency/Transit Times/Performance)
  • On-Dock Rail Capacity
  • Outbound Trucking Services
  • Port/Terminal Productivity
  • Proximity to DC/Store Network
  • Sourcing Country
  • Support Services (3PLs/Warehouse Facilities)
  • Sustainability

Competing POEs are benchmarked for the amount of time required to get goods from their point of origin to the distribution centers. Naturally, no one POE can be expected to offer the best times for each point of origin, so the best choice of POE depends on the location from which goods are sourced.