Internet portal to match draymen, equipment
A company called OnlineDrayage.com has launched a Web site devoted exclusively to international intermodal shipments, aimed at improving user operating efficiencies by matching empty containers with over-the-road operators serving local, regional and long-haul trucking markets.
OnlineDrayage.com is based in Miami, but the new Internet portal will be national in scope, allowing logistics intermediaries and trucking companies to search for either inbound or outbound containers in ports, or for transportation intermediaries to locate intermodal trucking companies or equipment at ports around the country.
Freight forwarders, customs brokers, non-vessel-operating common carriers, steamship lines and other logistic companies can post live notices of container availability for free. For a flat monthly fee of $35 users can search for available trucking companies or equipment or in the system. For $60, members can post information about their intermodal trucking services and have full access to the database to search for equipment.
Founders Mark and Sarah Monetti come from the freight forwarding and distribution services industry, and said the service was inspired by frustrations encountered trying to match-up equipment and intermodal truckers in everyday shipping situations. Truckers might have difficulty finding an empty container when they had a truck, particularly if they were in a port that was not their home base. Or companies might have trouble finding a trucker at some ports or rail ramps.
Logistics companies often have difficulties locating empty containers or intermodal trucking specialists in specific ports, the company said, even though there is usually a surplus of empty containers on the street. The intermodal industry is actually strained by the inefficiencies from high numbers of empty containers sitting idle for days around warehouses and in intermodal container yards.
In locations like Los Angeles, where there are more import traffic, or Miami, where there are more export containers, companies can take advantage of the service to fill empties headed back to Asia or to U.S. inland points.
While the service will focus on international intermodal moves needed most commonly in port cities and major inland intermodal hubs, it will not specialize exclusively on short-haul drayage trucking available between ports and local distribution warehouses.
Indeed, OnlineDrayage.com said its primary target will be regional and long-haul container moves, especially backhaul and 'street turn' moves through port cities around the United States that have imbalances between inbound and outbound container traffic.