Friday, April 8, 2016

Oakland Port Introduces Trucker Phone Apps

By Mark Edward Nero

On April 5, the Port of Oakland introduced two new smart phone applications that provide a tech-based calculation of harbor trucker turn times. It’s something the port predicts could transform containerized cargo handling at seaports.

The apps, DrayQ and DrayLink, employ Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS technology. They tell drivers how long they’ll wait to enter marine terminal gates and how long their transactions will take.

DrayQ users will be able to log-in to the app to view marine terminal wait times on their phones. DrayLink, will connect harbor truckers with shippers and the companies that dispatch drivers. DrayLink will also provide validated wait-time reports for truckers who register to use the service. It will also verify driver compliance with regulations required for access to terminals.

“We know of no other port measuring trucker transaction times with this precision,” Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle said. “This takes the myth out of measurement and gives us a window into port performance.”

The port said it commissioned apps to meet demand for accurate measurement of cargo pick-up and delivery times. The port hired Virginia-based scientific and engineering services company Leidos to license, deploy and maintain the apps.

Oakland worked with Leidos to expand a wireless network throughout the port to more closely connect the drayage truck community with marine terminal operators, cargo owners, and other stakeholders.

The port said its new apps can transform container shipping in a number of ways, including that drivers and cargo owners can receive up-to-the minute information on turn times, and can now plan transactions around peak periods of marine terminal activity.

Additionally, ports can get data on how quickly terminals are moving containers for cargo owners. Also, shippers and trucking firms will be able to monitor driver location and progress in real time to improve dispatching.

The smart phone apps are expected to be available via the Apple and Google app stores by the end of April.