IMC Companies
Smartstacks App (1)

IMC's SmartStack app to speed up drayage

Sept. 2, 2022
The app allows truckers to see the destinations of individual shipping containers. Drivers can choose to deliver the container to its final destination or bring it to a nearby IMC depot.

IMC Cos., the largest marine drayage company in the U.S., is improving port efficiency with its own proprietary version of the “peel pile” process, called SmartStacks. The approach aims to increase cargo container movement and driver productivity, decrease dwell times, and loosen the bottleneck on the supply chain that has plagued shippers, ports, rails, the trucking industry, and consumers for years, according to an IMC press release.

In a peel pile process, drivers pull up to the indicated "pile" and simply take the top container from the terminal to "peel" from the pile, versus waiting for a specific container that could be located anywhere in the pile. However, these peel piles are typically used only by the largest importers with hundreds of containers on one ship, so the impact on drayage movement is not that strong.

With SmartStacks, the containers of multiple shippers are placed into the same peel pile. Using IMC’s proprietary SmartStacks app, drivers instantly see the container’s destination and can choose to deliver the container to its final destination or instead bring it to a nearby IMC depot.

See also: Drivewyze adds severe weather alerts to in-cab Safety+ platform

With this new methodology, driver productivity has tripled, wasted lifts have been eliminated, and cargo has been made more accessible. The process has decreased container dwell time from 12 days to under 2 days and has reduced fuel usage and truck emissions by cutting idling time by 67%. In addition, SmartStacks improves chassis utilization and facilitates empty container returns, according to the press release.

“We wanted to improve the overall process for our customers, drivers and the industry,” said Mason George, president of national accounts at IMC. “This new process not only gets containers out of the gate faster; it gives drivers the freedom to choose based on their own schedule and hours, provides the speed, attention and faster throughput at port facilities and improves the environmental impact caused by idling vehicles. For these reasons, we consider SmartStacks to be the biggest breakthrough in drayage since the container.”

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