Find where to return your empty containers in a single click


    Empty containers return locations are critical pieces of information to optimize operations, maximize dual transactions and avoid paying detention or demurrage fees.

    BlueCargo provides a single platform to easily look for empty return locations for the 12 Los Angeles - Long Beach terminals.

    Upcoming features include:

    - Access return instructions history and spot last minute changes
    - Save empty return searches per user profile or customer account
    - Contact shipping lines equipment control coordinators

  • Main BEnefits

    Increasing drayage carriers' productivity


    Easy empty return instructions search

    Save time thanks to clear instructions table including filters


    Access return instructions history

    Leverage historical data to justify long truck turn times


    Optimize returns and dual transactions

    Access real-time and accurate return instructions

  • Top 5 issues drayage carriers face when returning empty containers to LA - LB terminals (and how to overcome them)


    The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are major container freight hubs driving a throughput of more than 17m TEUs per year (2018) across 12 terminals. Located in the San Pedro Bay, the port complex is serviced by more than 600 drayage carriers employing 12 000 to 17 000 drivers in the South California market. While these ports are the 2 busiest of the United States, they may also be the most complex for drayage carriers’ operations.


    Even though the trucking community’s mission seems straightforward: taking full import containers out of terminals and bringing back empty or export boxes, it is in fact difficult and highly constrained. Carriers must juggle with many sources of information: terminals, shipping lines, beneficial cargo owners, truck drivers... which constantly change and may contradict each other. Planning container pick-up or return requires many time-consuming processes including communication via email or phone, appointment booking and dispatch among the truck fleet. Moreover, in order to protect their margin and generate profits, carriers must work on maximizing the number of dual transactions and avoiding the most congested terminal during peak times. All these tasks are to be fulfilled during the limited time frame of demurrage and detention free days (~4 days, depending on contract), otherwise terminals and shipping lines may bill them for yard space or equipment utilization.

    Here is an highlight on 5 of the main issues drayage carriers encounter when returning empty containers to terminals:


    1 - You cannot complete your transaction because a terminal closed empty receiving on your drivers

    Last minute changes are the most painful when truck drivers are already waiting in line to return an empty box and pick-up a full import. They can greatly damage carriers’ turnover, particularly if this change implies demurrage or detention fees.

    If you automatically track empty return instructions and can prove that a last minute change happened (which should not have occurred according to UIIA), you have more leverage to be granted additional detention.demurrage free days.


    2 - You constantly track empty return locations on the 12 terminal websites

    Your customer service or dispatching teams need to know terminals’ empty receiving instructions to book appointments and plan operations. This tracking process is very time consuming and painful because it involves reading bad tables with different acronyms and layouts each time. Without mentioning that this information is not always coherent with shipping lines’ instructions or might be insufficient because it is still unsure which steamship line has on-hired the containers.

    3 - A terminal closes empty receiving in the middle of a shift

    Terminals may update their empty receiving instructions anytime, according to incoming container flows and available yard space. Since information is scattered all over the place, these changes are not easy to track.

    When this happens dispatchers have to quickly send trucks with empty containers to other terminals accepting them, and find available trucks to pick-up full containers out. This is where we need real-time and accurate data on return instructions.

    BlueCargo has built a single web platform giving visibility on empty return instructions for the 12 Los Angeles - Long Beach container terminals. The platform displays real time information on return instruction and will provide historical data on terminals’ return instructions. Our goal is to provide more transparency to the drayage community and smoothen interactions with terminal operator and shipping lines.

  • Contact Us

    Feel free to give us feedback, reach out !