Last week we had the first meeting of the working group and it was a huge success. In fact, the group turned out to be more of a think tank than a working group, bringing together the best and brightest ideas in the industry to address the issue of congestion. We agreed that all industry players need to contribute to the solution, no one entity can resolve the issues alone.
Terminal operators acknowledged and understood the challenges faced by the motor carriers, importers, retailers, etc. as a result of the cutbacks they had to make in response to the economic downturn. But we’re adding back many of those services and looking at other measures, such as appointment systems, to help ease congestion and improve conditions so drivers can make as many turns as possible in a day.
While many MTOs have already returned to five OffPeak gates per week, we’re aiming to have five OffPeak gates per week across all marine terminal gates. We’ve also added back flex hours and the noon hour relief, and we’ve increased labor levels by 37 percent since the beginning of the year.
Over the next month, MTOs will consider the concerns of the stakeholders and further discuss with the working group additional measures that may help reduce congestion and improve turn times.