Visibility is the latest buzzword related to port logistics, so we decided to sit down with our Product Manager, Tyler, and get his thoughts.
Tyler: Throughout the supply chain, the best decisions are often the most efficient ones - the ones most likely to be right are some balance of fast and cheap. At US ports, there are plenty of drayage moves that are extremely efficient: containers are picked up and returned as early as possible to avoid frightfully high demurrage and detention fees. For many, however, the ideal conditions required for such efficiency are rare. Appointments become scarce, equipment return locations stop receiving, and consignee warehouses get backed up. When the parties responsible for the first mile are no longer in sync (spoiler: this happens often), making those efficient decisions now requires acute awareness of every container, loaded or empty. Having access to real-time container data is paramount in making efficient decisions to ensure the consumer gets their product as quickly as possible, and shippers & motor carriers don’t break the bank with dwell and storage fees.
Tyler: A majority of the data required to make efficient supply chain decisions lies with the entities least incentivized to share it - Ocean Carriers and Container Terminals. Disparate and virtually unregulated, each of these massive players provides container tracking data via their own preferred data structure, nomenclature, and means of access. Shippers & motor carriers who rely on this data are required to continually monitor for up-to-date data on their containers through a number of different websites and integrations (if they’re lucky) that can change at a moments’ notice, but are also subject to hour-long delays in processing.
Tyler: To synthesize Ocean Carrier and Container Terminal data for containers moving through the port of LA/LB, Dray Alliance has developed a suite of integrations that ensure our shippers have real-time data to make efficient decisions. From the moment a container arrives at a terminal, we’re constantly looking for changes that impact a containers’ ability to move in or out. Not only do these integrations enable our operations team to make the most efficient decisions for our customers, we also share it directly with them. Through our Shipper Dashboard, shippers can access all of their container data in one place while keeping track of how Dray Alliance is using that data to deliver their product. With instant access to information about availability, appointment times, invoicing and documentation, shippers have everything they need to keep their consumers and other stakeholders happy.