• DATVF.ATLPHL
    2.007
    -0.019
    -0.9%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    1.905
    -0.024
    -1.2%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    1.287
    -0.045
    -3.4%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.343
    0.022
    1.7%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    0.947
    -0.021
    -2.2%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    1.142
    -0.054
    -4.5%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.162
    0.003
    0.1%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.685
    -0.032
    -1.9%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.518
    -0.018
    -1.2%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.315
    -0.012
    -0.9%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.555
    -0.008
    -0.5%
  • ITVI.USA
    11,852.100
    -341.410
    -2.8%
  • OTRI.USA
    18.380
    -0.690
    -3.6%
  • OTVI.USA
    11,841.110
    -346.010
    -2.8%
  • TLT.USA
    2.670
    -0.010
    -0.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    159.000
    19.000
    13.6%
  • DATVF.ATLPHL
    2.007
    -0.019
    -0.9%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    1.905
    -0.024
    -1.2%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    1.287
    -0.045
    -3.4%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.343
    0.022
    1.7%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    0.947
    -0.021
    -2.2%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    1.142
    -0.054
    -4.5%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.162
    0.003
    0.1%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.685
    -0.032
    -1.9%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.518
    -0.018
    -1.2%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.315
    -0.012
    -0.9%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.555
    -0.008
    -0.5%
  • ITVI.USA
    11,852.100
    -341.410
    -2.8%
  • OTRI.USA
    18.380
    -0.690
    -3.6%
  • OTVI.USA
    11,841.110
    -346.010
    -2.8%
  • TLT.USA
    2.670
    -0.010
    -0.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    159.000
    19.000
    13.6%
American ShipperContainerIntermodalNewsTrucking

Dray Alliance COO sees ‘huge opportunity’ to aid shippers, carriers

The chance to connect LA-area drayage drivers and containers energizes Sammi Liu, who just helped the startup raise $10.2 million in Series A funding.

Dray Alliance, a digital drayage marketplace that connects shippers and truckers for the delivery of containers between Los Angeles-area ports and logistics centers, said Wednesday it has closed a $10.2 million Series A funding round led by Matrix Partners.

Sammi Liu, who joined Dray Alliance last May as general manager, now carries the title of chief operating officer.

Liu previously was vice president of operations for Showroom Inc. but left after a year when the company failed to secure Series B funding, according to her LinkedIn profile.

She served two years as general manager of the logistics service Shyp and had a yearlong stint as Uber’s operations and logistics manager in LA.

The Dray Alliance team in Long Beach, California, has grown from five people when Liu joined to 30 today.

“My background is operations and geared toward more quantitative kinds of things. Dray Alliance is trying to solve a problem that I touched upon through various periods of my professional experience,” Liu said. “In my last company, which was another Series A startup, I was the VP of operations. It was a furniture logistics company. We imported a ton of furniture into our warehouses, and one of the pains was always ‘where’s this driver?’ From port to warehouse is incredibly painful to coordinate for a medium-size business. I didn’t even really know I was dealing with the problem of drayage from the other side, which is the end receiver side.”

Sammi Liu is the Dray Alliance COO. (Photo: Dray Alliance)

She said the opportunity to help solve a problem drew her to Dray Alliance.

“There is a genuine intention here to improve the ecosystem and improve the functionality of drayage. It’s a huge opportunity to make things better for both sides,” Liu said. “The carriers can actually do a better job, have more control over their schedules and grow their businesses through value-added technology. On the shippers’ side, they can actually get something they’ve never had before with drayage, which is getting the visibility and getting a reliable lever to pull when you actually need drayage done from the port.”

E-commerce customers expect visibility. Drayage carriers and shippers should too, Liu said.

“Most folks have the expectation that when you order something from an Amazon or a Jet.com or a Walmart that you can actually know where your package is,” she said. “But where is my container of cargo? That container of cargo might be worth half a million dollars and I lose sight of it. I think the industry is ready for it, and I think the challenge is actually the opportunity for us.”

Liu said she is up for the challenge.

“I started out in trading, which is highly quantitative, and it gave me a firm appreciation for data and data integrity and understanding optimization, and a high degree of comfort around that,” she said. “Then I was at Uber circa 2014, so I went through the high-growth phase of a startup that was on the cusp of being a giant company. That was incredibly exciting. I learned a lot and got to see what the cadence should be at that level for that kind of company.”

Wednesday’s press release said that “in an industry predominantly led by men,” Liu is one of the first female trucking industry COOs. But Liu, who began her professional life on a trading floor surrounded by more than 200 men, said gender doesn’t matter to her.

“In my age group, especially in the tech environment, we’re able to essentially assess performance and see a person without recognizing their gender first, their race first or whatnot — everyone is actually very equal,” said Liu, who is in her early 30s.

“I think folks are much more interconnected, and they can actually be much more empathic and accepting and see each other as equals. Thus far in tech, largely my experience has been fairly egalitarian in the sense that there are opportunities, especially for folks in my age group, when we see someone, [gender] doesn’t quite register. That’s what happens when we hire and we look for talent. It doesn’t register whether you’re a woman or a man first, what your race is. It’s much more the person,” she said.

Wednesday’s announcement also included the news that Dray Alliance earlier this month had hired another person, Lauren Roberts, as vice president of sales.

Roberts previously was assistant vice president of sales at Samsara, “the unicorn in trucking fleet management that has raised $530 million,” Dray Alliance said. She also held senior sales positions at Indeni and Cisco. 

Liu said, “We have a group of amazing people. Our team is incredibly diverse in experience. Everyone brings 100% to the table.”

Although Dray Alliance currently only serves the Southern California market, “definitely it’s on the road map to expand,” Liu said.

Dray Alliance said it will use the $10.2 million raised in the funding round to increase automation in its products and scale its hiring in sales, engineering and operations. In addition to Matrix Partners, Moving Capital, Craft Ventures, Act One Ventures and Wonder Ventures participated in the funding round.

In February 2019, Dray Alliance announced it had raised $3.5 million in a funding round led by Craft Ventures.

Dray Alliance CEO Steve Wen said last year, “We saw an opportunity to transform the way the drayage market works while making life easier for shippers and truckers. Instead of shippers guessing status, location and rate of their containers, Dray Alliance aggregates data from our partners to provide real-time visibility throughout the drayage process. We are helping both shippers and truckers improve efficiency, move containers faster and eliminate friction in the container shipping process.”

Tags
Show More

Kim Link-Wills

Kim Link-Wills has written about everything from agriculture as a reporter for Illinois Agri-News to zoology as editor of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. Her work has garnered awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Magazine Association of the Southeast. Prior to serving as managing editor of American Shipper, Kim spent more than four years with XPO Logistics.

4 Comments

  1. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & YOU'LL PROSPER ! IMHO says:

    This comment is OFF TOPIC but you should check it out ! WOW !

    Quote:
    February 27 2020

    Trucking companies sued for not including nonmandatory safety systems

    A federal judge in Pennsylvania recently ruled a lawsuit against a truck leasing company and Navistar will proceed. The lawsuit blames the companies for a crash by claiming it was the result of the lack of safety systems on the truck, including collision warning and automatic braking.

    On Feb. 24, Judge Kim R. Gibson of the U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania denied Rush Truck Centers of Virginia’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit against it, Navistar and others.

    The lawsuit claims that Navistar and Rush are liable for a crash with a motorcyclist, John Paul Shimmel.

    Specifically, the companies were negligent by not including non-mandatory safety systems in the truck.

    According to the amended complaint, Shimmel was riding his motorcycle on Pennsylvania Route 322 in September 2017. Wei Jang was driving a Navistar truck for Richmond, Va.-based Express Light Trucking, which leased the truck from Rush, going the opposite direction on Route 322.

    Jiang was unable to stop the truck soon enough after a vehicle in front of him stopped, causing a crash. Consequently, the truck entered oncoming traffic. Shimmel laid down the bike to avoid a collision with the truck. While sliding on the pavement, Shimmel ran into a guardrail, resulting in severe injuries.

    In June 2018, Shimmel filed a lawsuit against Navistar, Rush Truck Centers of Virginia, Rush Truck Leasing, Express Light Trucking, Jiang and Sealand Foods, which hired Express and Jiang. The lawsuit accuses Navistar and Rush of strict liability and product negligence. The remaining defendants are accused of negligence.

    Strict liability claims allege that Rush and Navistar were responsible for designing, manufacturing, marketing, selling, leasing and supplying the truck. Those factors allegedly led to the crash by:

    Truck design not including sufficient manner and means to reduce the likelihood of frontal collisions.
    Failing to market the truck with a forward collision warning system.
    Truck lacked “necessary” safety systems, including collision warning and automatic braking systems to alert the driver and slow the truck.

    Failing to lease the truck with safety systems.
    Failing to provide “necessary” warnings so that purchasers would be aware of the importance of forward collision warning systems.

    Product negligence claims accuse Navistar of failing to offer or include as standard equipment “appropriate and reasonable alternative” safety features. Furthermore, Shimmel claims Navistar was negligent by failing to market safety systems “to make them affordable and attractive to purchasers.”

    “Defendant Navistar made careless corporate business decisions to enhance profits by only offering necessary and reasonable collision avoidance systems as optional equipment,” the lawsuit claims. “Defendant Rush made careless corporate business decisions to minimize expenses by failing to purchase a necessary and reasonable collision avoidance system that was offered by defendant Navistar as an option on the truck.”

    Additionally, Rush is being accused of not informing Express of the availability of comparable trucks with collision avoidance systems.

    Jiang, Express and Sealand Foods are accused of negligence for failing to keep a proper lookout, failing to slow or bring the truck to a stop and failing to minimize the risk of a collision. Claims regarding safety systems were not included.

    Jiang and Express filed a cross-claim against Navistar and Rush, suggesting the two hold the burden of responsibility. On the same day, Rush filed a counterclaim against Jiang and Express. Rush claims Express agreed to “defend, release, indemnify and hold Rush Truck Leasing and its insurers harmless from and against any loss or liability arising from any claim or cause of action for death or injury” per the contract. Navistar also filed a counterclaim against Jiang and Express, alleging they are liable for the crash.
    Rush moved to have the case dismissed in August.

    Firstly, Rush argued there was never a defect in design. Even if there were, Rush contended that is on Navistar, the manufacturer, not the seller.

    Furthermore, Rush claimed it has no duty to offer or market all available or conceivable safety systems.

    “The terminology used in plaintiff’s amended complaint can only be described as a creative attempt to re-word claims and theories that have all been rejected in previous cases,” Rush stated in its motion to dismiss.

    However, the court was not persuaded.

    “Because the truck was unreasonably dangerous by virtue of its defective condition–not having collision avoidance and similar systems – and because Rush is in the business of supplying products for public use, Rush is subject to strict liability,” Judge Gibson said.

    Regarding defectiveness, Gibson said a product can be proven defective in two ways. First, the danger is unknowable and unacceptable to an average or ordinary consumer. Second, a reasonable person would conclude that the likelihood and severity of harm the product may cause outweighs the burden of taking precautions.

    “A reasonable person could plausibly conclude that installing those systems on the truck was less burdensome than the potential for harm of not installing those systems,” Gibson said.

    All defendants must now face all the claims in the lawsuit, which will proceed.

    END QUOTE .

    1. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & YOU'LL PROSPER ! IMHO says:

      YOU SEE ! The judge is referring to “a reasonable person” EXAMPLE in the negligence case !

      Quote :

      “Regarding defectiveness, Gibson said a product can be proven defective in two ways. First, the danger is unknowable and unacceptable to an average or ordinary consumer. Second, a reasonable person would conclude that the likelihood and severity of harm the product may cause outweighs the burden of taking precautions.

      “A reasonable person could plausibly conclude that installing those systems on the truck was less burdensome than the potential for harm of not installing those systems,” Gibson said.”
      End quote .

      QUOTE :

      “Negligence, the Reasonable Person, and Injury Claims

      The so-called reasonable person in the law of negligence is a creation of legal fiction. Such a “person” is really an ideal, focusing on how a typical person, with ordinary prudence, would act in certain circumstances.

      The test as to whether a person has acted as a reasonable person is an objective one, and so it doesn’t take into account the specific abilities of a defendant. Thus, even a person who has low intelligence or is chronically careless is held to the same standard as a more careful person or a person of higher intelligence.”
      End quote .

      BE VIGILANT concerning ” a standard of care” !

  2. So, Lui has basically FAILED at every prior job where she did short stints and now she has fooled this CEO and their investors for a while until she fails here and moves on yet again.

    Sounds like a winning formula to me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close