Integrate FRATIS with existing drayage order management systems to reduce human data entry errors and improve efficiency.

Evaluation of a drayage optimization tool proof of concept.

May 30, 2018
Los Angeles,California,United States

Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

Integrating FRATIS with existing order management systems reduces human data entry errors. Using FRATIS, an entire set of daily orders can be entered in about the same amount of time it would take to enter a single order without the system. This high level of functionality played a critical role in supporting participants’ increased use of the tool and also served to greatly reduce the potential for data entry human errors.

Having accurate order data is critical to perform successful route optimization. FRATIS reduces potential for disruption by not allowing invalid orders to be entered into the optimization algorithm which forces team members to address potential data issues before and during deployment.

Methods for assigning orders to drivers are highly dynamic and are customized to the individual needs and requirements of different companies, leading to different user expectations of FRATIS. The following categories of data elements were common, but data definitions were likely to vary between companies.
  • Number of imports available for pickup at terminals.
  • Number of empty containers ready to be returned.
  • Length of the trip, such as a short- or long-haul move.
  • Type of cargo, such as dry or refrigerated cargo.
  • Chassis ownership, such as whether the trucking company owns the chassis or if it belongs to a chassis pool.
  • Driver’s preferences.
  • Customer requests and priorities.

Offer multimedia trainings through a range of different delivery approaches. Allow users to become familiar with the FRATIS interface and formulate questions prior to training.

It is challenging to effectively optimize empty returns given there are many uncertainties characterizing this particular drayage activity. One issue faced by many drayage companies is determining where to return empty containers. This creates a series of costly problems, such as where and how to find storage for empty containers and paying per diem charges if empty containers are not returned on time.

When assigning orders, dispatchers must consider drivers’ preferences for specific routes. over 80 percent of the drivers in the Los Angeles/Long Beach region are owner operators and serve as independent contractors. This adds complexity to solving the routing problem. To address this problem, dispatchers often present drivers with alternative assignments to choose from once the optimization is run.

Real-time dynamic planning requires real-time data updates. Among the many ever-changing factors are stop time at pickup and drop-off locations, equipment availability at intermodal facilities and marine terminals, waiting times and turn times at marine terminals, traffic conditions, road closures, and others.

Drivers currently use many mobile applications; adding an additional one can create challenges. Both trucking managers and dispatchers expressed concerns about how use of the Driver Mobile Application might affect drivers’ safety and productivity (although the application was designed to lock when the driver is in motion).

Lesson Comments

No comments posted to date

Comment on this Lesson

To comment on this lesson, fill in the information below and click on submit. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field. Your name and email address, if provided, will not be posted, but are to contact you, if needed to clarify your comments.


Enhancement of Cross-Town Improvement Project (C-TIP) Drayage Optimization Proof of Concept - Los Angeles/Long Beach, California

Author: Mollaghasemi, Mansooreh; and Fabio Zavagnini

Published By: USDOT Federal Highway Administration, ITS JPO

Source Date: May 30, 2018

Other Reference Number: FHWA-JPO-18-676

URL: https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/36242

Lesson Contacts

Lesson Analyst:

Mike Mercer
(202) 863-3646


Average User Rating

0 ( ratings)

Rate this Lesson

(click stars to rate)

Lesson ID: 2018-00835