Mobile App Aims to Boost LA’s Port Efficiency

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 4, 2015

Image: Port of Los Angeles

Image: Port of Los Angeles

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced that Cargomatic, a Los Angeles-based, privately-owned technology company that matches trucking capacity with shipments, is testing its mobile app to speed up the flow of containerized cargo at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA).

 
Cargomatic has developed a peel-off shipping concept that it calls the “Cargomatic Free Flow” program, a web-based solution that optimizes container moves for cargo owners, terminals, and trucking companies. Testing began in early January and preliminary results are encouraging, POLA said.
 
"We have forged an important relationship between Cargomatic and the Port of Los Angeles that will help our city effectively compete in today's technology driven marketplace,” Garcetti said. "This kind of innovation will help keep our Port #1, benefitting working Angelenos and our local economy.”
 
“Great minds are working on smart solutions for moving cargo faster and more efficiently across the supply chain,” said POLA Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We’ve always supported innovation and we’re proud to be the gateway where new strategies are emerging.”
 
Cargomatic launched in 2013 as an online marketplace where trucks with unused capacity and shippers needing to move LTL (less-than-truckload) freight and full loads can find each other. The company started its operations with domestic shipments throughout Southern California and has since expanded to New York.
 
Last year, Cargomatic began adapting its technology for port drayage. That led to the current program at West Basin Container Terminal (WBCT) where Cargomatic is working with cargo owners, drayage companies, WBCT and Ports America to demonstrate its web-based service. Participating businesses include Perry Ellis, Williams-Sonoma, SalSon Logistics and The Triangle Group.
 
“We’re an operating system,” said Chief Operating Officer Brett Parker, who co-founded the Venice, California-based startup with CEO Jonathan Kessler. “We provide the technology and do all the coordination between shippers and carriers so cargo can get where it needs to go.”
 
Any party – beneficial cargo owner (BCO), motor carrier or independent owner operator – can enter the online market by registering with Cargomatic. Drivers are vetted to ensure they meet all required licensing, insurance and certifications, including compliance with the Uniform Intermodal Interchange and Facilities Access Agreement.
 
“We support trucks picking up a specific container, as well as the free-flow model where trucks stream through for any container in a designated stack,” Kessler said.
 
Shippers of any size can participate, Kessler added. “They don’t have to be a BCO with an enormous number of containers. We’re looking to work with everybody.”
 
A smartphone is the only special equipment a driver needs. Documenting the pick-up by entering or photographing the container number and confirming the delivery triggers the tracking and payment functions.
 
Cargomatic sets the rate for drayage service booked through its platform. “That’s part of our service,” Parker said. “We also bill the shipper, pay the carrier and collapse the process so carriers are paid within eight to 15 days.”
 
Cargomatic’s goal is to move at least 1,000 containers a week through the Port of Los Angeles. Other marine container terminals in the San Pedro Bay and the Port of New York and New Jersey are now participating in the program.
 
This initiative is part of Mayor Garcetti’s effort to use technology to enhance the way Angelenos live, work, and play. Working with internal departments and private industry, his goal is to use the City of Los Angeles as a platform on which to develop the latest technologies that will improve quality of life for Angelenos. This partnership joins other City of L.A. and tech partnerships like Pulsepoint, which uses Fire Department data to alert nearby app users to health emergencies, and Waze, which uses City and user-generated data to cut commute times and make it easier for drivers to get around L.A.
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