From New York/New Jersey to Vancouver, BC…from Virginia to Oakland…even Los Angeles/Long Beach…drivers are fed up with the slow operations and congestion at marine terminals. The reasons for the slowdowns are myriad. Inclement weather, new computer systems, terminal consolidations, increase in volumes, chassis shortages, labor shortages and equipment failures are the most common.
Motor carriers, port authorities and industry groups are clamoring for improvement and a return to productive operations. Letters have been written. Task forces have been created. But the slowdowns remain. We cannot keep doing the same thing and hoping for a different outcome. Isn’t that a definition of insanity?
Ports America in Oakland is looking to stop the insanity. For the month of March, they are implementing a night gate each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 6:00pm to 3:00am. They will accept empty containers in and empty and loaded containers out. It is a trial to gauge the usage and productivity improvements. Motor carriers’ past experience with off-hour gates has not been overly positive, and it will take substantial coordination on container availability both in and out as well as driver hours of service. Nevertheless, we applaud Ports America on making this significant investment in an effort to smooth operations. We will keep you posted on the progress and effectiveness of these night gates.