Driver creates app to get truckers out of line at Port of Oakland

The drayage industry may be in for greater innovation, say analysts, who have noted that "Driverless Trucks"may make even the latest apps look antique before long.

By ·

Another mobile phone app has been developed to get truckers out of line at the Port of Oakland. The difference this time: it’s the invention of a harbor driver.

Filex Fok, a licensed motor carrier at the port, introduced the new app last week, noted port officials.

Called Jupigo, his technology helps harbor truckers exchange empty cargo containers without ever entering the port. The objective: keep truckers on the road, not waiting at busy terminal gates.

The app is the third introduced at the Port of Oakland this month to shorten lines at terminal gates. The others, called DrayQ and DrayLink, gives drivers real time metrics on gate queues and terminal transaction times. They were developed for the Port by Reston, VA-based tech firm Leidos.

Jupigo functions like a “dating app” for truck drivers who have equipment needs. Drivers with empty containers to return post their equipment availability on Jupigo. Truckers searching for empties post their requirements as well. The app automatically alerts both drivers, who can then initiate a container exchange.

“Imagine the benefits when there is a match on this platform,” said Fok; “two trucks off the waiting line and on the road making productive trips.”

Fok said the benefits of his app include:

• Reduced diesel emissions and fuel consumption because truckers won’t wait in line to return empty containers;
• Less crowding at marine terminal gates; and
• Bigger paydays for drivers who can haul more cargo by making fewer port visits.

“Everyone gains from this development,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “But what I like is that this was created by truckers for truckers.”

Container swaps executed outside marine terminals are known in the industry as “street-turns.” They’re desirable because they spare drivers the need to pick-up or return empties in the Port. Oakland truckers have used email or online chats to arrange street-turns.

Fok said Jupigo will be more efficient because of its automatic matching feature, SmartMatch. But he added that his app can’t finalize street-turns. Truckers must still contact the shipping lines that own the empty containers. That’s usually done through an online form.

Jupigo estimates there are 2,000 to 3,000 street turns conducted by Port of Oakland drivers weekly. The company hopes to more than double the number with its new app. For every street-turn it enables, two more trucks are kept out of line at Oakland terminals.

Jupigo should be available in app stores next month, Fok said. He said there’ll be no charge for the feature. “The payoff is increased efficiency for all of us who drive at the Port of Oakland,” said Fok.

The drayage industry may be in for even greater innovation, say analysts, who have noted that Driverless Trucks may make even the latest apps look antique before long.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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Article Topics

Container · Shipping · Technology · Trucking · All Topics
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