The Port of Oakland is now using an app designed to help truckers cope with busy cargo gates at the shipping hub, the port said Wednesday.
"This industry is the oldest thing on earth, and we always have to find brand new things to make it work," said Michael Zampa, a spokesman for the Port of Oakland.
The developer of the free DrayQ app, Virginia-based Leidos, has hired people to hand out fliers to truck drivers at the East Bay port. About 150 people have signed up for the app in the first few days.
"This is the first port in the country to use this technology," Zampa said.
The app is available on the Google Play store for Android phones and the Apple store for the iPhone, the port said.
"There's no more guesswork for truckers picking up or delivering cargo in Oakland," said John Driscoll, the port's maritime director. "Now they can plan their days with real-time information."
The port has been opening gates at night and on weekends to help unclog chronic backlogs of cargo being delivered or picked up by truckers.
DrayQ tells truck drivers how long it takes to enter terminal gates and calculates how long drivers must wait to complete transactions. The times for gate waits and transactions that appear on mobile phone screens are akin to the sign boards on freeways
that tell people how long it will take to get to a downtown area, airport or city.
The new technology could provide truckers and dispatchers with a precise measure of how long a terminal transaction takes. And if it's too long, drivers can plan around slow periods.
Cargo owners and terminal operators will also be able to compile data to determine if container shipments are being processed efficiently. They can use the data to alter operations.
The app uses Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi technologies to measure truckers' progress through the East Bay cargo hub.
"The technology gets a ping from every cell phone for a vehicle that is going through the port," Zampa said. "The display is very much like the freeway signs that show how long to get to a destination."
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