Drayage Appointment Tech: 5 Ways It's Helping Brokers to Do More With Less

Posted by Port City Logistics on Jan 6, 2022 11:38:33 AM

In recent months, the backlog of containers in major ocean ports has been a core topic for news outlets and mainstream media. Meanwhile, expansion in other ports, such as the Port of Savannah, has become lifelines for shippers trying to find a suitable alternative to backlogged locations. All shippers are clamoring to find available capacity, and there is little hope that 2022 will be much better. However, freight brokers have realized that applied technology can increase back-office operations and reduce problems associated with strained capacity. Let’s take a closer look at the top five ways that drayage appointment tech achieves this goal.

1. Drayage Appointment Tech Enables Automated Appointment Scheduling

A leading benefit of drayage appointment tech comes from automated appointment scheduling. Think about the typical workflow for a broker. The broker receives a call from a shipper needing to have freight picked up from the Port of Savannah. The carrier then begins calling drivers to find someone who can complete the pickup. After back-and-forth processes, the carrier confirms acceptance, and the broker finally realizes the execution of the shipment. However, this is problematic for drayage service providers at ports with multiple ships awaiting berth. Instead, leveraging drayage appointment tech helps brokers automate the entire process, creating a one-click action to find capacity and execute on that move.

2. It Reduces Confusion Over ETAs for Offloading Containers

Freight brokerages also apply drayage appointment tech to save time by reducing the confusion over ETAs for drayage moves. Remember that drays to ports are a two-fold process. The most effective way to manage drayage is to create more dual transactions involving the return of an empty container in exchange for the pickup of a full container by a drayage service provider. That process is integral to getting the containers back on ships faster to streamline the overall loading and unloading for each shipment at berth. Furthermore, the technology used to continuously provide real-time status on the truck’s ETA for delivering a full container and returning with an empty container can dramatically reduce confusion over expected unloading and docking times for ships.

3. Drayage Appointment Tech Will Also Reduce Risk of Added Costs

Part of this involves a reduced risk for new dwell and detention charges expected to be implemented by major ports. For example, consider the new surcharges discussed for the APM Terminals at the Port of Los Angeles. According to Eric Johnson of JOC.com: “One cause of persistent bottlenecks in the busiest US port complex is the difficulty drayage providers have in finding and keeping appointments to return empty containers, an issue that may soon ratchet up based on fees APM Terminals is set to charge harbor truckers from Jan. 1 at its Pier 400 facility in Los Angeles.” While those charges may be isolated to western ports, they will inevitably become more likely at eastern US ports as demand remains high. Therefore, using drayage appointment scheduling tech to reduce dwell time will help lower the risk of such surcharges across all ports of entry. 

4. Technology Provides Greater Access to More Mid-Market Carriers

Finding ample capacity is part of the challenge of ineffective drayage service. Brokerages need to expand their transportation network to stay in operation continuously. For some brokerages, their whole business is non-asset-based, meaning they must always find another carrier to bring into the fall. Drayage appointment tech makes that possible by providing effective freight-matching into the process. That is critical to getting access to more mid-market drayage service providers. In turn, more mid-market carriers can actually help reduce total costs for the brokerage and have such savings passed along to shippers.

5. Drayage Appointment Tech Also Reduces Stress over Document Management

The final pin in how drayage appointment tech helps freight brokers do more with less revolves around digital document management. Drayage appointment management systems are built on integrated systems. In the world of imports and exports, integration between systems is equivalent to getting customs clearance faster and avoiding delays. Eliminating the hassle of managing physical paperwork saves time and resources. Meanwhile, ample platforms have been developed to connect with existing drayage service systems through application programming interfaces (APIs) and electronic data interchange (EDI) to share information and documents in real time. The possibilities for increased automation and efficiency grow exponentially at this point.

Realize the Benefits Expertise and World-Class Technology for Brokers Needing Drayage Service by Working with Port City Logistics

Drayage appointment scheduling technology is evolving in tandem with the overall supply chain. The days of waiting on a slow, manual process are over. Freight brokerages that apply drayage appointment tech can dramatically reduce the time it takes to book, quote, and follow through on all shipments. Of course, it is always beneficial for freight brokers to have an expert in drayage services in their corner. Port City Logistics is that expert. Connect with Port City Logistics to learn more today.

Topics: drayage truck