April turn time scored 44 on the METRIS Turn Time Performance Index. March had been phenomenal (relative to recent history), at 49, attributable to a huge Chinese New Year volume dip, that provided a respite from a long run of capacity stress. That benefit lingers: barring March, the April numbers were the best in 2 years.
Turn time in March hit a 30-month high of 49 on the METRIS Turn Time Performance Index, probably due to a drop in volume. Volume also impacts the performance of individual terminals relative to each other. The bigger the terminal, the slower the turn time. 70% of the difference among terminals is explained by this.
Turn time remains stuck at or below 40 on the METRIS Turn Time Performance Index, as it has been for the past year. Tracing data back a few years, there is a spectacular correspondence between turn time and marine terminal labor expenditures, indicating that turn time is not just a trucking problem.
Turn time performance has recovered most of what it lost last year, but remains stuck at a level comparable to where it was during the clerks' strike in late 2012. Severe problems continue at three terminals.
Following a disastrous 2014, turn time improved considerably in February. It then leveled off in March as volume swelled. Labor disruptions appear to be firmly in the past, but other factors that contributed to the 2014 debacle will not be reversed soon.
Turn time in November hit a record low for the fourth straight month, scoring 28 on the 100-point METRIS Turn Time Performance Index. This downward trend in performance is no longer attributable to near-record volume. The likely causes are (a) labor disruptions and (b) propagation of previous congestion.
Turn time in October was the worst in 5 years. This is probably due to volume, which registered its 4th-highest month ever in September. However, October volume dropped relative to September, yet turn time continued to deteriorate.
Some metrics of turn time in the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles have worsened 50% since we published a major turn time study in 2011. The time a trucker must budget for a punctual delivery was 2 hours in 2011. It is 3 hours today.
The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles operated at about 30–40% of typical activity levels due to a labor strike at marine terminals. Our findings are based on a sample of METRIS-equipped trucks that service the ports.
At a meeting of The Waterfront Coalition in Long Beach, DGRC unveiled its LiveQ service, a unique control-tower-like monitor that reports truck queue conditions at the San Pedro ports in real time. LiveQ graphically indicates queue length, dwell time, progress and confidence. While LiveQ will not eliminate entry queues, it reduces the longest ones, improving service reliability.
Ability/Tri-Modal and PierPass Inc released the study, “Taking the Pulse of the Ports: Duration of Truck Visits to Marine Terminals” conducted by DGRC for the Truck Turn-Time Stakeholders Group (TTSG). “The study points to ways to further increase efficiency of container moves,” said Bruce Wargo, President and CEO of PierPass. “Terminal operators should carefully review their lunch hour and break practices to minimize the amount of waiting in the yard.”
TTSG comprises motor carriers, marine terminal operators, beneficial cargo owners and the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. PierPass contracted DGRC on behalf of TTSG to conduct this study, with equal funding from Ability/Tri-Modal (on behalf of the California Trucking Association), PierPass, the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles.
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Research and Innovative Technology Administration funded a consortium led by the University of California, Santa Barbara to deploy METRIS in the San Pedro Bay ports (Los Angeles and Long Beach), and to develop analyses and models for freight congestion mitigation. The news release from USDOT states: “The University of California, Santa Barbara is one of several universities selected to partner with the U.S. Department of Transportation ’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) to improve transportation system performance and reduce construction and maintenance costs through remote sensing and spatial information technologies. The University of California, Santa Barbara research team will work with state and local agencies, industry partners and service providers to reduce freight congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach through a network of remote sensors and technology support systems.” Part of the National Consortia on Remote Sensing and Transportation (NCRST), the consortium includes the University of Washington, the California Marine and Intermodal Transportation System Advisory Council (CALMITSAC), and consultants Patty Senecal and John Glanville. TeleAtlas, DigitalGlobe, APL, the Port of Long Beach, California Department of Transportation and Los Angeles Department of Transportation are cost-sharing partners.
“Long truck turn times in LA-LB persist after congestion clears.” Bill Mongelluzzo in Journal of Commerce
“U.S. Container Port Congestion & Related International Supply Chain Issues: Causes, Consequences & Challenges.”
Federal Maritime Commission, Bureau of Trade Analysis
The 80-page report devotes an entire page to METRIS findings and recommendations. A statement on page 54, “[evening queues are] not being addressed because the marine terminals that operate the PierPASS program do not consider the long lines outside the gates as their problem....” is incorrectly attributed to METRIS.
“LA-LB terminals graded D-minus despite better truck turn times.” Bill Mongelluzzo in
Journal of Commerce
[DGRC clarification: the D– is assigned not to terminals alone, but to the efficiency of port performance as a whole, and it reflects on all those whose actions impact it, from legislators to longshoremen.]
“LA, Long Beach drayage turn times 'substantially' improving, analysis shows.” Bill Mongelluzzo in Journal of Commerce
“ILWU, PMA prep for negotiations as container stacks rise.” Bill Mongelluzzo in Journal of Commerce
“LA-Long Beach congestion swells on longer container dwell times.” Bill Mongelluzzo in Journal of Commerce
“Near-record volume is main driver of LA-LB congestion, study finds.” Bill Mongelluzzo in Journal of Commerce
“US West Coast ports hit a rut with freight moving slowly but few signs of change.” Bill Mongelluzzo in Journal of Commerce
“US West Coast waterfront employers say ILWU slowdowns continue.” Bill Mongelluzzo in Journal of Commerce
“Supply Chain Headache at L.A. Port.” Matthew Heller in CFO
“Should PierPass fee structure be changed?” Bill Mongelluzzo in Journal of Commerce
“Data Could Help Port Problems.” Go by Truck News
“Researcher: Truck wait times at Los Angeles ports can be helped.” Charlie Morasch in Land Line Magazine
“Trucker turn times measurement is flawed, consultant says.” Bill Mongelluzzo in Journal of Commerce
“Financial Penalties Seen as “Most Effective” in Cutting Truck Turn Times.” Bill Mongelluzzo in Journal of Commerce
“Turnaround in Turn Time.” Bill Mongelluzzo in Journal of Commerce
“PierPass Gets Passing Grade.” Bill Mongelluzzo in Journal of Commerce
“Groundbreaking Study Provides First Comprehensive Measurement of Truck Queuing and Visit Times at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.” Business Wire, Reuters and others, quoting PierPass press release.
“Controversial PierPass Study Measures Truck Turn Times.” Bill Mongelluzzo in Journal of Commerce
“There's Hope for Congestion Relief at the West Coast Ports.” Material Handling & Logistics
“GPS System Offers Insights into What Is Going On Second-by-Second on the Freeways and in the Terminals.” George Cunningham in Cunningham Report, 15:36, pp 6-7.
“Study Backs GPS Use for Harbor Trucks.” Bill Mongelluzzo in Journal of Commerce