Tracking Containers Helps Cut Waiting Times
May 8, 2000
Technology is being used to help truck drivers at one intermodal terminal avoid the long wait times that plague intermodal haulers across the country.
According to a report in Computerworld, a trucker picking up a container at the American President Lines pier and terminal in Seattle waits just an average of 17 minutes. That's because APL uses an automated, wireless system to track containers parked across its 160-acre facility.
The trucks are equipped with dashboard-mounted mobile computers hooked into a wireless LAN (local area network). The computers track containers with radio frequency tags mounted on the container chassis. In the future, a satellite GPS system will help locate containers even more precisely.
Dan Gatchet, president of Seattle-based West Coast Trucking, told the magazine that the APL terminal is "the best in the area. I wish there were more terminals that used automation to speed the flow of containers."