Canadian Shipper


New study outlines benefits of information technology to drayage sector

VANCOUVER, B.C.– The Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table released findings from the Study of Innovative Technologies for Communicating Real-time Information to Port Drayage Drivers today. Conducted with the assistance of the Montreal Port Authority, the study looked at 10 ports around the world to understand their information systems for communicating important traffic and terminal conditions to drayage companies and drivers.

The study describes port authority systems that communicate real-time port and roadway conditions. The ports selected for this study, located in North America and Europe, vary in size and complexity of their technology systems. These communication systems range from simple email, Twitter-based or SMS text systems to comprehensive networks using webcams, sophisticated data collection and changeable message signs.

“Truck flow to and from ports makes a big difference for the competitiveness of marine terminals, and for their relationships with cities and the surrounding communities,” said Krista Bax, Executive Director, Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table. “Communications technologies present proven solutions to improve truck efficiency and reduce impacts, and we wanted to document a range of technology options that can help gateway industries maximize the effectiveness of their labour supply.”

According to the study, radio and on-line reports are often tailored to the needs of commuters, as opposed to the needs of port truckers, so port systems that provide this information are a valuable addition to reports available to the general public. Information relayed to port users can increase efficiency by helping drivers and dispatchers make well-informed decisions about route choices, when to go to a particular port terminal or how much time to allow for their journey. Of key concern for drivers, ports and industry is the reduction of wait times, and getting reliable and up-to-date information to drivers.

“This report demonstrates that there is a lot of low hanging fruit on the technology tree to address port truck congestion issues,” said Daniel Dagenais, Vice-President of Operations, Montreal Port Authority. “Information Technology and social media enable port managers with simple and highly efficient broadcasting tools to influence truck routing patterns and preserve fluidity at our gates.”

This is the fifth study that the Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table has undertaken on the drayage industry, and one of a suite of studies to identify better communications technology including a recently-released Skills Table study undertaken with the Port of Montreal looking at drivers’ receptiveness to and use of new technologies.

The study can be downloaded here.

This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program, which aims to address current and future skills shortages.