Tech startup Next Trucking will expand a drayage pilot program serving the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, announcing it will relieve congestion at the busy container facilities by opening an 18-acre drayage facility at a site about 10 miles from the Port of Long Beach, the firm said today.
El Segundo, Calif.-based Next Trucking is a "freight-tech" startup backed by major venture capital firms including Brookfield Ventures, GLP, and Sequoia Capital. The company says it combines physical assets with proprietary technology to connect shippers with freight capacity across the drayage, transload, and full truckload (FTL) modes.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and Next Trucking did not indicate when the new facility will begin operations.
Under the arrangement, Next Trucking will open the 18-acre drayage site in Long Beach, Calif., supplementing its existing 8-acre facility in Gardena, Calif.
The new location will increase container capacity for Next Trucking's Relay program, which is currently operating at the Gardena site and is designed to maximize drayage efficiency, the firm said. The firm's Relay program allows trucks with port clearance to shuttle containers to the new yard, then bring empty containers back with quick turn times, increasing throughput and reducing emissions.
In an emailed statement, NEXT Trucking CEO Lidia Yan said those improvements come because the firm's Relay system lets drivers book round trips. "They exit the port with a full container, offload the container, and return with an empty container. Turn times are literally minutes," Yan said. "We're mitigating deadhead, letting drivers complete multiple runs in a day, and getting drivers home for dinner."
Next Trucking was founded in 2015 by Yan and her husband Elton Chung, with a goal of bringing a more trucker-centric point of view to the shipper-carrier relationship, they say. The firm's app allows drivers to enter their preferences—including routes, hours and pay—and then uses predictive load matching to fit them with appropriate jobs.
Delays in drayage, which is the first step in moving goods from the port to their final destination, cost the industry nearly $350 million annually, Next Trucking says. Those delays are caused by a number of factors, including increased container capacity on cargo ships and the limited number of truck drivers who are licensed to enter the ports, according to the firm.
A number of logistics technology startups have targeted the sector with digital solutions in response. Firms including BookYourCargo.com, Dray Alliance, and DrayNow Inc. have recently reported fast growth rates and healthy venture funding.
Editor's note: This story was revised on June 26 to include more information about Next Trucking's product, and on June 28 to indicate that the firm's new agreement is with the owner of the 18-acre property, not with the ports.
"Drayage is entering the digital age—early investors in technology can anticipate long term success, while those that blindly cling to outdated practices face a bleak future." - Weston LaBar, CEO Harbor Trucking Associationhttps://t.co/q2noVeXsOq— NEXT Trucking (@nexttrucking) June 25, 2019