Inbound Logistics | January 2024

load rate determination in drayage, reducing costs, and establishing more competitive drayage rates.” ITS Logistics developed ContainerAI during the recent disruptive years. The solution uses AI to aggregate critical data points into a cloud-based platform with rail data, trucking milestones, ocean voyages, and port charges, among other information. “AI allows us to sift through the available data to nd the most trustworthy points, giving our customers intelligent conclusions,” Weis says. THE RISE OF AI “AI will become more relevant, with predictive and generative AI especially moving to the forefront,” Weis says. “Accurate and high-quality data must be the driver behind AI decision-making; otherwise, bad input equals bad output. Once the quality of data and business rules are dened, routine business decisions can be made autonomously. “But that’s not to say that people and relationships won’t play a part,” Weiss adds. “The way forward is developing technology to improve relationships and empower people to their highest use.” The possibilities of AI will only grow with time—and more data and users. “Over time, as this data accumulates and we see increasingly more people comfortable with utilizing AI, these programs will be able to help companies be more efcient and drive out inefciency—empty miles or equipment maintenance, for example—from the network that the drivers are operating,” Wilson says. “That will continue to evolve. We’re just at the beginning.” LOOKING AHEAD Going forward, technology and innovation can help drayage operators transform their businesses and better navigate challenges facing the industry. Through that effort, they can become better partners to other stakeholders in the supply chain, particularly as drayage rms progress from manual operations to using tech tools to improve decision- making and efciency.

As the importance of drayage grows, sophisticated technology solutions are hitting the market and transforming the industry’s traditional way of operating.

where it is. Data accumulates over time, and it provides valuable information for analytics down the road.” Similarly, “automated tracking offers real-time visibility into container locations, minimizing errors,” Ricksecker notes. “Simultaneously, live load tracking with geofencing facilitates better communication and coordination. “Data-driven algorithms efciently match imports with carrier empty acceptance,” she says. “This optimization of import loads and carrier empty acceptance, along with streamlined street-turning of containers, brings mutual benets to both drayage carriers and customers. These practices result in cost savings by reducing empty container trips and improving asset utilization, leading to competitive rates for customers. “Moreover, they decrease delays, ensuring prompt container availability and reducing the risk of detention fees,” Ricksecker says. Articial intelligence (AI) is leading the tech-based reshaping of the drayage industry. “AI plays a central role in streamlining operations, predicting congestion, optimizing trafc ow, analyzing sensor data for maintenance predictions, and improving route optimization, resource allocation, and the overall customer experience,” Ricksecker says. “AI-driven software algorithms are revolutionizing

GPS elements located within the truck provide “more transparency to the last mile than there was before,” notes Mike Wilson, CEO of Consolidated Chassis Management, a New Jersey- based company that manages chassis on behalf of ocean carriers. ENABLING TRANSPARENCY “GPS can also provide data to the operating company to see where they’re being efcient and where they’re being inefcient or where there may be delays or other issues,” Wilson says. “The ability to have onboard monitoring systems, both for the truck and for the trailer, has helped make things safer and more efcient. It also provided more information to the carrier to better serve their clients.” It’s simple: Customers want to know where their freight is. “Drayage usually is the most complicated area to track because it works on the highway systems and you never know what’s going to happen,” Wilson says. “Delays, accidents, construction diversions—they all impede a truck’s ability to get to its destination. “Transparency allows the shipper to see where their freight is, and then plan around that,” he adds. “Transparency is also important in terms of how data is accumulated and used. Transparency isn’t just being able to query a container, chassis, or trailer on the screen and see

166 Inbound Logistics • January 2024

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