As LM noted earlier this week, the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach are taking advantage of OffPeak traffic mitigation programs initiated by PierPass to keep the nation’s largest ocean cargo gateways competitive.
“One of the advantages we expected from shifting to an appointments-based system was increased flexibility, allowing terminals to continue innovating to improve efficiency and meet evolving market needs,” John Cushing, President and CEO of PierPass said. “We are very pleased and encouraged to see this expectation being achieved.”
In another operational improvement, most terminals are now allowing same-day canceling and rebooking of appointments if an appointment is available. Terminals were able to make this enhancement through software modifications.
Furthermore, one terminal has begun allowing trucking companies to make appointments for picking up containers several days before the ship docks, allowing truckers to better plan their workloads.
“The new appointment-based PierPass system is working, and we are encouraged that the terminals are responding to our recommendations for additional improvements to their appointment systems,” said Weston LaBar, CEO of the Harbor Trucking Association. “We continue working with PierPass and the terminals to make the container pickup and delivery process faster and smoother for truckers and their customers.”
By providing additional shifts during off-peak hours, PierPass has allowed the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to make better use of their infrastructure and investments, allowing cargo volume to grow without negatively impacting traffic conditions.
Prior to the creation of PierPass in 2005, the two ports were struggling to handle cargo volume during the five existing shifts per week, causing severe traffic congestion. Significant capacity remains during the four additional shifts terminals are currently providing per week.
During the third calendar quarter of 2019, a weighted average of 30% of available daytime appointments and 41% of available nighttime appointments went unused. This indicates that, on an aggregate basis, more than enough appointment slots are being made available by terminals.
When the program began last year, the percentage of “no-shows” (when the trucker fails to appear for an appointment) averaged between the mid-20s and the low-30s. For both of the past two quarters, no-shows were down to an average of 14% of peak-hour appointments and 15% of off-peak appointments, as terminals continued meetings and follow-up with trucking companies that repeatedly miss their appointments.
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