Apr 20, 2017
Allen Thomas, Chief Strategy Officer for Advent Intermodal, based in Murray Hill New Jersey told AJOT his company is providing software support for a Port of Oakland initiative to deliver containers to new Inland Depot in French Camp California, near San Joaquin Valley, California distribution centers.
The new depot is expediting the pick-ups and deliveries of 300-400 containers per week at the San Joaquin Valley depot saving truckers and shippers from driving 75 miles to and from the Port of Oakland.
Thomas said, “We have been working with Shippers Transport Express, a local drayage and logistics operator in Oakland to set up their Inland Container Depot (ICD) at French Camp, California Camp about 10 miles from Stockton and over 100 miles from the Port of Oakland. Depots like this are being set up because of collaboration between harbor truckers and the Port of Oakland to provide a container yard nearer to the San Joaquin Valley that makes it easier for truckers and shippers to pick up their containers rather than going into Oakland and dealing with long-haul distances and congestion delays.
He said Advent Intermodal is a software supplier that initially developed the eModal Port Community System now used by all Oakland terminal operators to help streamline trucker visits to the port by enabling scheduled appointments, fee payments and up-to-the-minute information on container availability statuses.
As a result of the Port of Oakland and the trucker work group collaboration, the Port supported a night time “Valet Service” program that allowed truckers to pick up their containers at night versus the more congested daytime. For motor carriers like Shippers Transport Express, this provided the option to deliver containers to the Inland Depot in French Camp overnight and then onto the customers’ locations far faster the next day.
The focus was picking up multiple containers of 20-30 containers that required coordinating a “peel pile” pick up of multiple trucks and drivers moving cargo at night for specific shippers.
When this Inland Depot was opened, it was receiving 30-40 containers per week that number is now up to 300-400 per week.
Thomas said Advent provided a new software platform, eModalPRO, to streamline operations and improve communications with shippers using the French Camp depot. The product has a few key functions that eases the burden on dispatchers, working for trucking companies, and the cargo owners’ own logistics coordinators scheduling freight movements:
- The software tracks the container statuses and notifies both shippers and truckers when the containers are ready for pick up at the container terminal – eliminating the daily checks on the terminal or liner website to confirm availability
- The system provides a fee payment guarantee process so the shipper can pay port/terminal fees directly an avoid having the drayage company do this
- As the containers are ready for pickup, appointments can be automatically scheduled within the eModalPRO system saving more of the dispatchers’ time
- As the containers are picked up, all parties can now get real-time updates to the container location as it moves with key events (pick up, drop off, etc.) being communicated directly to the stakeholders’ dispatch and logistics systems (versus via phone/fax/email)