Port of Los Angeles Tests New Drayage Computer Tool
Cargomatic, a Southern California-based, privately-owned technology start-up, has developed a new web-based computer program that matches trucking capacity with shipments of containerized cargo.
Testing of the new “Cargomatic Free Flow” program began at the Port of Los Angeles in January and “preliminary results are encouraging,” says the port’s Executive Director Gene Seroka.
Cargomatic launched in 2013 as an online marketplace where trucks with unused capacity and shippers needing to move Less-than truckload (LTL) freight and full loads can find each other. The company started its operations with domestic shipments throughout Southern California and has since expanded to New York City.
Last year, Cargomatic began adapting its technology for port drayage, in turn, leading to the current program at the port’s West Basin Container Terminal (WBCT). To test the new web-based drayage tool, Cargomatic is currently working with the terminal operator, several drayage companies, Ports America and several major shippers including Perry Ellis, Williams-Sonoma, SalSon Logistics and The Triangle Group.
“We’re an operating system,” says Chief Operating Officer Brett Parker, who co-founded Cargomatic with CEO Jonathan Kessler. “We provide the technology and do all the coordination between shippers and carriers so cargo can get where it needs to go.”
DOCUMENTING A CONTAINERIZED CARGO LOAD WILL ONLY TAKE A SMARTPHONE
“Any party—beneficial cargo owner (BCO), motor carrier or independent owner operator—can enter the online market by registering with Cargomatic,” says Parker, adding that “drivers are vetted to ensure they meet all required licensing, insurance and certifications, including compliance with the Uniform Intermodal Interchange and Facilities Access Agreement.”
“Shippers of any size can participate,” says Kessler. “They don’t have to be a BCO with an enormous number of containers. We’re looking to work with everybody and we support trucks picking up a specific container, as well as the free-flow model where trucks stream through for any container in a designated stack.”
A smartphone is the only special equipment a driver needs to document the pick-up by entering or photographing the container number and confirming the delivery triggers the tracking and payment functions.
Cargomatic sets the rate for drayage service booked through its platform. “That’s part of our service,” Parker says. “We also bill the shipper, pay the carrier and collapse the process so carriers are paid within eight to 15 days.”
The company’s initial goal is to help move at least 1,000 containers a week through the Port of Los Angeles.