Another Oakland Container Terminal Now Requires Appointments for Truckers
Busy ports have always been at risk for trucks bunching up near containers, especially when container surges occur. With more ships deployed in the trans-Pacific and larger amounts of freight on the way, another Oakland terminal is now requiring truckers picking up inbound containers to schedule appointments.
The terminal, TraPac, is not the first port to require this type of appointment. The move is intended to keeps things flowing smoothly, and to deal with the rush and ensuing jam that can often come in these types of situation.
John Driscoll, Port of Oakland Maritime Director said: “We commend TraPac for taking this step. It’s not easy introducing new operating procedures, but customers and harbor truckers benefit whenever we can speed up container throughput.”
Operators have relied partially on an extended amount of gate hours to deal with the increase in activity, but schedules can help ensure that each hour is used in the most efficient manner possible. In this respect, it can be viewed as somewhat similar to the practice of logistics in trucking. While this may pose certain constraints on carriers, it may also help them avoid delays in some cases.
Over half of the container terminals in Southern California utilize appointment systems and more are expected to implement this strategy in 2017. Oakland International Container Terminal is the largest operator in the port and, like TraPac, uses extended hours and mandatory appointment requirements to avoid getting backed up. EverPort requires appointments but does not offer extended hours.
This type of activity isn’t unique to the West Coast, however. New Orleans was also noted as using an appointment schedule for trucks to ensure cargo flowed smoothly. TraPac noted that dispatchers can check and schedule appointments from an online portal. While appointments are required for inbound containers, they are not required for exports or for returning/picking up empty containers.