The Port of Long Beach and Los Angeles are expanding the hours during which trucks can pick up and return containers in a bid to improve freight movement and reduce delays through the ports as they continue to experience record volumes.
Long Beach will maximise night time operations while Los Angeles will expand weekend operating gate hours.
Dubbed “Accelerate Cargo LA,” the Port of Los Angeles’ programme will operate on a pilot basis to ensure that gate availability meets cargo demands and provides greater transparency to improve efficiency.
Total Terminals International (TTI) container terminal on Pier T in the Port of Long Beach is participating in a pilot programme, which focuses on the effort to reduce “dwell” – the amount of time cargo spends waiting for pickup on the dock.
As part of the pilot, the terminal will allow truckers with appointments access to the terminal between 11pm to 1.30am, thus widening the window typically available.
TTI will also open gates during the third shift, from 3-7 am, Monday to Thursday, for two-way, prearranged truck appointments to both drop off and pick up container in the same trip.
Known as “dual transactions,” the practice pairs transport of a truck-hauled empty container for export with a loaded import container, for maximum efficiency. Visits are arranged in advance, with chassis equipment drawn from the region’s “pool” so everything goes smoothly.
The pilot programme will be evaluated periodically by the terminal and adjusted as necessary. To assess the program’s effectiveness, the terminal will monitor gate utilisation, dwell time of import containers, and truck driver productivity.
Port of Long Beach executive director Mario Cordero said: “We are in the midst of an historic surge in cargo, and our terminal operators and other supply chain partners are giving their all to keep it all moving.
“We welcome this pilot project by TTI as a first step toward extending gates to 24/7 operations, and we encourage our cargo owners and trucking partners to give this innovative programme a try.”
Bill Peratt, CEO of TTI, stated: “If we can increase utilisation of our late night gates, we can better serve the supply chain, and help speed cargo to market.
“By making it more convenient for truckers, we are optimistic that these steps can reduce the dwell time at our terminal.”
In addition, both ports have called on marine terminal operators to incentivise the use of all available gate hours, especially night gates, to reduce congestion and maximise cargo throughput capacity.
The ports have stated that they will work closely with the trucking community to ensure that all truck operators understand how to take advantage of incentivised gate hours as well as the expanded opportunities that will be created to move cargo during non-peak times.