State-of-the-art, service-oriented, and leading providers of port drayage, trucking, and warehousing services are easily able to differentiate themselves from all the others by the way they consistently run their businesses, by how they readily identify and quickly resolve concerns, and by how they strive to constantly improve their processes and the industry as a whole.
Drayage Truckers Classified as Employees
Truck drivers for one drayage carrier in the Port of Los Angeles have voted to join the Teamsters Union and now will be classified as employees rather than independent contractors. Union officials see this as an “important step in the driver’s efforts to reform the drayage industry.”
Tension between drayage carriers’ and drivers’ over pay and working conditions have boiled over in recent months, adding to the problems of an already congested port.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said keeping the cargo moving is a top priority of his administration. Drayage drivers have historically been independent contractors who are paid by the load. One of the problems of a congested port is the down time for drivers, who sometimes sit for more than four hours waiting for a load. Reclassification as an employee means the drivers will at least be paid for their downtime, hopefully enticing more young people to consider a career as a drayage driver.
Lack of Qualified Drayage Carriers Causing Congestion
Ports all across the nation are in a state of congestion for several reasons, including a lack of qualified drayage carriers. Carriers who don’t have the modern technology required to keep up with a changing industry are unable to efficiently locate their chassis. The maze of confusion that comes with a busy port requires a robust industrial Internet so dispatchers and drivers can locate equipment and containers and keep the cargo moving.
The longer loading times caused by increased container size on new megacontainer ships are expected to increase congestion problems. Top companies are able to keep tabs on equipment and freight at all times.
Emissions Down at Port of Los Angeles
Workers are breathing a little easier these days at the Port of Los Angeles as environmental programs have greatly reduced toxic emissions. Newer, more efficient trucks, ships traveling at slower speeds, and an increased use in shore-side electricity all contribute to cleaner air at the port.
Particulate matter from diesel engines is down 80 percent, sulfur oxides are 90 percent lower, and greenhouse gases have dropped 23 percent since the emission plan began in 2006. The Port of Los Angeles Clean Truck Program bans older trucks completely, along with trucks as new as 2003 that are not retrofitted with modern emissions equipment. Along with contributing to a healthier planet, lower emissions also translates to fewer sick days and a more efficient port.
New Technology Manages Street Turns
One method drayage carriers use to increase efficiency is the so-called “street turn,” where chassis and container are either swapped or used again for a new load. This method negates the need to return empty containers to the ports, decreases port truck traffic, and increases the efficiency of cargo movement.
New technology from an Oakland-based IT company provides greater insight for everyone regarding the optimum time to make an equipment change, increasing profitability for all involved. Another technological advancement, the Freight Advanced Traveler Information System (FRATIS), picks the closest driver from a specific drayage carrier to pick up a container.
The driver then has access to an express lane to bypass backed up traffic. FRATIS is in the testing stage as one method drayage carriers and port officials are looking at to decrease port congestion.
For detailed information, maps and contact information for the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, be sure to download a free copy of our Comprehensive Port Service Guide.