PRODUCTIVITY…LET’S TALK APPLES TO APPLES

Port of Oakland expansionWhen we talk about terminal productivity, we are talking about yard and gate operations, meaning how quickly we can get a driver in and out of the terminal. When terminal operators and ocean carriers talk about terminal productivity, they are talking about vessel operations, that is how quickly they can work a vessel, get containers discharged/loaded and get the ship back out to sea.

In Oakland, and around the country, we have been plagued by poor terminal productivity…our type of productivity…the one that ties our hands and disables us from getting drivers turned and containers picked up and delivered. We have discussed this issue in our monthly newsletters for the past year. The delays. The congestion. The frustration. The driver exodus. It has gotten so bad the FMC is even looking into the problem.

But, what can we do to fix it? The answer isn’t something the industry wants to hear. Pay more.

Terminal operators need more robust incomes in order to provide the service and operating hours necessary to move containers in a fluid and efficient manner. Additionally, we are going to have to pay our drivers more to compensate them for the lack of turns they are able to achieve.

CAP & TRADE’S FUEL TAX

Fuel Island 009California’s Cap and Trade program, which is the buying of selling of pollution credits, will increase the price of gas and diesel in the state by $0.15/gallon starting next year. Those who created the plan see the increase as “unintended” while those of us who understand how business works saw it coming a mile away.

Read Richard Coyle’s, President Devine Intermodal, op’ed in the Sacramento Bee. Click here.

Oh, and did we mention, 25% of all Cap and Trade monies collected will go to build high-speed rail. Forget about our dilapidated roads and bridges…who needs goods movement anyway?

SUMMER DRIVING TIPS

No ZoneAutomobiles account for 81% of the accidents between a truck and a car. We want you to be safe out there, so as we head into the summer driving season, we thought it would be beneficial to review the 5 things a motorist can do to avoid an accident with a truck.

  1. Never ever cut in front of a truck. Your 3,000lb sedan can stop much more quickly than a 80,000lbs truck and trailer.
  2. Do not tailgate a big rig. You will not be able to see the road ahead and will not have the proper reaction time to adjust to changing road conditions.
  3. Avoid the “No Zone.” Watch the video here. Trucks have blind spots, and it behooves motorist not to dwell in those spots.
  4. Leave the rush hour buffer empty. It may seem the driver is leaving you space to change lanes, but in actuality, he is leaving plenty of space between him and the car in front of him to be able to react to traffic.
  5. Just drive. Your vehicle is not a restaurant, office or powder room. Please do not drive distracted.

We want everyone to arrive at their final destination safe and sound.

FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT

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IF YOU BOUGHT IT, A TRUCK BROUGHT IT

Here are some interesting truck facts for you.

If you connected all the loaded truck moves delivered last year, it would stretch to the moon and back more than 11 times!

While accounting for just over 14% of all miles traveled, trucks delivered 81% of all goods moved.

The trucking industry paid $37.8 billion in state and federal highway user fees. That’s 43% of all fees collected.

Trucking employs more than 7 million people around the country.

And, take a look at these pollution mitigation numbers. The trucking industry has spent billions of dollars upgrading fleets to cleaner more fuel efficient engines.

Pollution Reduction Graphic

In case you can’t read those numbers, it’s an 88% drop in Sulfur Dioxide, 48% drop in NOx and 32% drop in Diesel Particulate Matter. Those reductions were achieved across all industry segments. Of course, we know the numbers for intermodal trucking in California are even better than that.

WEST COAST LABOR NEGOTIATIONS

ILWU in action OaklandThe contract governing dockworkers on the US West Coast expired today without a new contract in place. It was widely predicted the contract between the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) would not be concluded before the expiration of the previous contract. So, we are not surprised by this development.

Both sides have been very quiet on the progress of negotiations. There has been no battle in the press. There has been no public banter at all. We take that as a positive sign. If negotiations were going poorly, we would be hearing saber rattling for sure.

While we have not seen a walk off during the negotiations thus far, we are seeing a shortage of labor. As the regular longshore workers go on vacation, typical in June, there are not enough casuals to fill the open slots. Such shortages create queues, congestion, long turn times and hamper productivity.

In the May edition of our newsletter, we covered the two most significant negotiation topics, jurisdiction over waterfront jobs and the pending tax on the union’s “Cadillac” healthcare plan. Click here for a refresher.

FROM BEHIND THE DOCK DOORS

Reno Warehouse Truck + Van 003 A

NEVADA VS TEXAS

Tesla Motors is gearing up to build a multi-billion dollar battery plant. Four states, Nevada, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, are in the running for the mega-plant…make that giga-plant…seems folks think mega is not big enough for this puppy. It is going to be huge.

Industry experts have narrowed the likely choices to San Antonio, TX and Reno, NV. Tesla is not expected to make a final decision until the end of the year, however, they will start breaking ground in at least two, possibly three, locations. It is unusual to break ground before a decision is made, but Tesla is not your usual automobile.

Our vote…RENO! Of course!

UBER FOR TRUCKS?

Uber for TrucksIf you have not heard of Uber, it can be best be described as a casual taxi service. Say you need a ride from your home to the airport, rather than call a cab and have no idea when it will arrive, you go to the Uber app and request a ride. Uber puts your request out to their network. One of their drivers, private citizens in private cars, selects your ride. At that point, the app starts to track your driver and display on a map on your phone or other mobile device. You know exactly where your ride is and when it will arrive.

Well, the folks that brought you Uber are branching out to local LTL deliveries in Southern California. Take a look at this quick video to see out it works.

GERALD DESMOND BRIDGE DELAY

Gerald Desmond BridgeThe Gerald Desmond Bridge, which is the primary route to the Port of Long Beach, has for years been in desperate need of repair. It got so bad a net was placed under the bridge to catch the concrete chunks that were breaking loose.

Finally after years of wrangling, the project broke ground in January 2013 and was originally expected to be completed by end of 2016. However, due to setbacks attributed to CalTrans delays in approving the design, the repositioning of oil wells and mis-mapped underground utility lines, the new bridge is slated to be finished by the end of 2017 or possibly even the beginning of 2018. As we have grown to expect with every major infrastructure project, there are cost overruns. The original budget for the project was $950M and is now $1.26B.

Rather than a traditional design-bid-build project, the Port of Long Beach chose a design-build project where the construction begins while 70% of the design is approved.

The Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project is a joint effort of Caltrans and the Port of Long Beach, with funding contributions from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).

BOTH SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PORTS HAVE NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS

Gene SerokaAs expected, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously confirmed Gene Seroka as Executive Director, Port of Los Angeles. Mr. Seroka’s appointment has received praise from the industry, and he has already hit the ground running at the port.

 

 

Jon SlangerupNot be outdone by their Southern California competitor, the Port of Long Beach recently announced the appointment of Jon Slangerup as their Executive Director, a post vacant since Chris Lytle left for Oakland a year ago. Mr. Slangerup was the former President, FedEx Canada and has a “strong operational and environmental track record.”

NAME THAT PART

Name That Part July  2014Do you know what this part is? It is something used in intermodal or truck transportation. Play “Name That Part” by liking us on Facebook. Click here to go to our Facebook page and place your guess. Good luck!

CHINA NIXES P3

P3It has been widely covered that the Chinese Ministry of Commerce put the kibosh on the P3. The P3 was the alliance of Maersk, CMA-CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Co. These ocean carriers are the three largest in the world, and China was not comfortable with the percentage of the market in the various trade lanes, especially Asia-Europe at 42%, the alliance would control.

This decision does not mean these three carriers will cease to share vessel space, especially in the TransPacific. We are confident we have not heard the last from this alliance.

FUN FACT

The four-way stop versus the roundabout

Roundabout v Four Way StopWhich is more efficient in moving traffic, the standard US four-way stop or the European round about?

Mythbusters puts it to the test, and the winner is…click on the video link here to find out.