When the drayage services provider BookYourCargo (BYC) was founded in 2015, its focus was to create a digital solution designed to optimize container management and provide customers visibility of their shipments once they had been picked up at the port of discharge.
While the company built its newly released Digital Drayage Platform, customized to the needs of its drayage shippers, CEO Nimesh Modi explained in an interview with FreightWaves that capacity constraints and struggles filling driver jobs offered a new challenge for his team.
“The industry has been suffering quite a bit because of the shortage of drivers,” he said. “E-commerce development has caused a lot of drivers to change the direction of their business from drayage services to the e-commerce side. It makes them feel good because every night they get to go home and they don’t have to get up at 3 a.m. to get in line at the port. Including current congestion, wait times and strikes, a lot of drivers lost interest in drayage because it is not an easy life.”
Related Article: More long-haul drivers eyeing final mile
With feedback from various carrier partnerships, Modi’s team worked to improve BYC’s drayage platform to optimize the experience of a truck driver during these short but complex moves.
“We developed an ecosystem for them to increase efficiency by automating a lot of the job so they can focus on just going back and forth [from the ports to warehouses],” he explained. “The carriers earn a lot more money rather than dealing with the hardships they had to go through before.”
Modi ended up finding that if the platform made the drayage work easier for carriers to manage, it would quickly pay off in customer satisfaction.
“We developed our fleet and partnerships with 1,700 trucking companies, and that converted into customer satisfaction automatically,” he said. “Our platform then provides the customers with all the necessary tools for visibility, safety and compliance within drayage.”
What separates BYC from other digital drayage solutions is the product is based on the combined human knowledge of Modi’s team, with the automation needed to optimize this area of transportation.
“We do not only provide technology, we provide services backed up by that technology,” he explained. “We are not saying to our customers, ‘Here is a system you can manage.’ Instead we are providing an optimized drayage experience with our team with a digital experience which comes complimentary for you.”
Modi described the “black hole” that many shippers face once their shipments leave a port of discharge. For most companies, the drayage experience of moving the trailer to warehouses to be sorted and segmented can seem daunting without updates throughout the intricate operations.
“They are used to calling 50 times a day, asking for every update. We have created this new platform where every milestone gets updated into the system with updates customized to deliver to our phone app or through text messages dependent on their needs,” he said.
“BYC has been invaluable to our drayage process in the last 12 months,” said Puneet Jain, director of Import Operations at Dollar Tree Stores in the platform release. “With rates escalating and capacity shrinking, BYC has helped us keep our drayage costs predictable and under control.”
Modi found that focusing on improving this area supply chain for BYC’s customers has led to a great level of trust to get the job done right.
“With our carrier partnerships, our cancellation rate is less than 0.1%,” he said. “That has built their confidence in us. Once we accept the loads, they know we are going to deliver it.”