Press Release: Turn Time at the San Pedro Ports
PierPass Inc. and Ability/Tri-Modal Transportation Services Inc. today released the results of a study that uses Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking to provide a common language and set of facts that the port community can use to discuss truck queuing and terminal visit times at the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
"Truckers and terminal operators have often talked past one another, with truckers relying on anecdotes and emphasizing extreme instances of delay, and terminals quoting gate records that don’t count wait times outside the gates," said Dr. Val Noronha, president of Digital Geographic Research Corp. (DGRC), which conducted the study. "Both have used a metric (turn times) that means different things to different people. With objective, technology-based metrics of throughput that address all phases of a port visit, terminal operators and truckers will have a solid foundation upon which to build efficiency solutions."
The study evaluates three time periods: queue time, spent waiting in line outside the gates; terminal time, measuring from the entry gate to the exit gate; and visit time, the sum of queue and terminal time.
Key findings of the study include:
"The study shows that most truck visits are being handled in an efficient and timely manner and that there is plenty of capacity in the ports," said Bruce Wargo, co-chair of the working group and president of PierPass, the non-profit formed by the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) in 2005 to address marine terminal issues such as congestion, security and air quality. "It also identifies potential areas of improvement. The terminal operators are committed to maintaining the efficiency of the system that moves 140,000 containers a week by truck in the country’s largest port complex."
The Truck Turn-Time Stakeholder Group (TTSG) was formed in July 2010 to address concerns about visit times. It includes representatives of trucking companies, marine terminal operators, cargo owners and the two ports. TTSG is co-chaired by Wargo and Joshua Owen, president of Ability/Tri-Modal Transportation Services Inc., a trucking, warehousing and distribution company.
PierPass contracted DGRC on behalf of TTSG to conduct this study, with funding from PierPass, Ability/Tri-Modal, the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles. It relied on GPS devices installed in about 250 trucks at the ports under a research project funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration.
Wargo noted that the queue and visit time measurements include a significant proportion of visits involving two transactions (typically, dropping off an empty container and picking up a loaded container, or vice versa). Separately measuring the single-transaction and double-transaction visit times was beyond the scope of this study.
"The study points to ways to further increase efficiency of container moves," Wargo said. "Trucking companies can reduce wait times by avoiding breaks and shift changes and arriving during underutilized hours. Terminal operators should carefully review their lunch hour and break practices to minimize the amount of waiting in the yard."
The executive summary of the study is available at http://pierpass.org/turn-time-study/613-2/. For information on PierPass, go to www.PierPass.org, or visit http://www.youtube.com/PierPass to view PierPass videos addressing gate congestion and potential solutions.
PierPass is a not-for-profit company created by marine terminal operators at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in 2005 to address multi-terminal issues such as congestion, security and air quality. Under the program, all international container terminals in the two ports established five new shifts per week. As an incentive to use the new OffPeak shifts and to cover the added cost of the shifts, a Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) is required for most cargo movement during peak hours (Monday through Friday, 3 a.m. to 6 p.m.).
Ability/Tri-Modal is a third-generation privately-held trucking, warehousing and distribution company that has serviced the Southern California gateway for international cargo since 1947.
Contact:PierPass Customer Service Numbers:
877-863-3310 (from inside the United States)
1-973-355-3575 (from outside the United States)
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
Anne Heise, 415-677-2731