We recently had the chance to catch up with Michael DiBernardo, Director of Business Development for the Port of Los Angeles. We asked Michael about the Port’s participation in the upcoming Turn Time Study, commissioned by The Truck Turn Time Stakeholder Group and conducted by Dr. Val Noronha of Digital Geographic Research Corporation to provide metrics for tracking and monitoring truck turn times.
Q: Why did you decide to contribute to funding for the turn time study?
A: We felt it was necessary to capture data that will provide facts on how long truck drivers are queuing outside terminal gates. The terminals have the data once a truck driver enters the facility, but we have no means of measuring the queue time from a certain point outside the terminal. We felt the turn time study would help provide that data.
Q: What is the goal of the turn time study?
A: For the Port of Los Angeles, the goal of the study is to receive factual data of truck queue times in order to accurately identify problems of congestion and/or bottlenecks at the port.
Q: Why is the study important for the community?
A: The turn time study is important to the trucking and cargo owner communities because it ensures that factual information about turn times is available. Currently, mainly anecdotal information is being communicated to cargo owners and the media.
Q: What solutions to truck congestion would be beneficial for the ports?
A: The Port of Los Angeles believes the following solutions will be beneficial for the ports:
- Spreading out truck traffic to avoid peak congestion at 5pm
- Implementing port-wide appointments that offer flexibility
- Offering flex work gate schedules and five off-peak gates, which is already being done at most terminals
- Ensuring trucking companies’ drivers continue to work after 11pm in order to maximize the off-peak gates
Q: What is the biggest misconception about turn times at the ports?
A: One of the biggest misconceptions is to assume that because one trucking company reports they experienced two or three hour turn times, all trucking companies are experiencing those delays. In general, turn times are much shorter than what has been reported by the media and the majority of companies are not experiencing these delays. It is true, however, that at certain hours of the day, turn times may be long due to trucks waiting for evening, or OffPeak, gates to open. Many trucks show up at the same time to take advantage of the OffPeak gate.
Q: How will the results from the study be used to generate possible solutions to truck congestion at the ports?
A: Following the conclusion of the study, the Truck Turn Time Stakeholder Group will analyze the results and determine the next steps in addressing any issues that may be identified by the study. We will continue to keep the community updated with our findings.