DrayTECH 2023: 3 Key Takeaways

Photo collage of people, panels, and trucks at DrayTech 2023 in California

Every year, the Harbor Trucking Association hosts its DrayTech event, bringing the technology and trucking companies that operate in the drayage space together for a full day of panels, discussions, show & tell, networking, and entertainment.   

DrayTech 2023 took place last week in San Pedro at a new venue, The Double Tree Hotel, which offered the ability to host more folks and end with a bang.   

This year, three big things stood out to the group of folks we had in attendance (four, if you count the contortionists).

Drayage is a Community

Even though many attendees were competitors, either as providers of capacity or TMS solutions, there is a tremendous sense of us all “being in this together.” This is true, regardless of whether the market is booming or bombing, and it is fantastic to see how many conversations at DrayTech start with some version of “How can we work together?”

For Envase, this meant highlighting the breadth and depth of our services, from TMS to Yard Support and Rate Intelligence to Automated Gates. Nearly all of our conversations focused on identifying hidden value, which is a key reason we’re always looking to expand our marketplace. We even delved into how the data we secure and retain for carriers can be used to lower insurance rates. We have many follow-up discussions coming but are excited about the partnership opportunities that came out of the event.  

The Freight Rebound… ?

About that freight rebound — We’ve all heard how a rising tide lifts all boats. But currently, the market is awaiting any sign of flooding.

On the main stage, many of the presentations and discussions focused on how carriers can remain viable as businesses due to the low rates and minimal volumes. Freight is cyclical; there will be a rebound. But it sure looks like it will be a longer cycle than is normal (one of the sheets we shared at the show was about how we can help carriers navigate the current environment. You can download it here). 

Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEVs)

ZEVs are coming, whether truckers want them or not.

The ride-and-drive portion of the event was terrific, with zero-emission vehicles from a host of manufacturers on site and available to be tested. In LA/Long Beach (and really, California all around), the mandate for Zero Emission vehicles is coming rapidly; we’re about seven months away from when new registrations will be limited to ZEVs.

The infrastructure isn’t quite ready yet. The vehicles are still being developed. But we’re at the point where you can see the finish line as more than some interesting concept.  

It isn’t a stretch to say this was the biggest and best DrayTech yet. Karla Sanchez and Melissa Summers from the Harbor Trucker’s Association truly outdid themselves this year. As for Envase, we’re already counting down the days until DrayTech 2024.  

Hope to see you there.   

DrayTECH 2023 Photo Gallery

Thank you to Marc Harris for the incredible work of documenting DrayTECH23 with stunning photography. All credits to Marc Harris for the photographs in this piece.

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