Trouble Ticket Report #5 – WBCT

As part of our continuing effort to better understand trouble tickets and their causes West Basin Container Terminal (WBCT) in the Port of Los Angeles has provided the fifth in our series of reports.

WBCT’s report is the first in our series to break out average delays caused by individual types of trouble tickets. During the day gates, the longest delays – an average of 57 minutes in January and February – are caused by dispatching drivers to move a container before the Traffic Mitigation Fee has been paid. During the night gates, arriving too early before the appointment time or the start of the night gates is the longest cause of delays, at an average of 27 minutes.

At WBCT, the largest generator of trouble tickets is truck registration information in their database. Interestingly, it is also the easiest and least time-consuming (11 minutes on average) to fix.

Like previous reports, many of the issues that generate a trouble ticket and additional truck delays can be avoided with some advance checking in the terminal computer system for import availability, booking number accuracy and TMF payment status.

In this month’s example (please see below), Jeff Boden details WBCT’s experience with trouble tickets for January and February of 2013 and provides tips on how to avoid them.

Bruce Wargo
President & CEO
PierPass, Inc.

WBCT Trouble Transaction Observations

In an effort to improve our customers’ experience while on terminal we have been tracking the number and type of trouble transactions and the length of time needed to correct them. Through our observations we have noticed that the trucking community is preparing their drivers for the terminal more and more, but there is still room for improvement.

Your efforts to reduce the frequency of these problems have been noticed. During the last two months at WBCT, we have completed 133,305 gate moves, with only 5,932 going to the trouble window, or generating trouble tickets. That means only 4.45% of the drivers at our terminal had a trouble transaction to correct.

Frequency of Trouble Transactions by Cause

As you will see from our data below, the largest single cause of top trouble tickets issued at WBCT is trucks arriving with incorrectly registered RFID tags. Most of these troubles are from the truck not being registered for the company that the driver is reporting he is driving for. You can also see that this is the quickest trouble for us to resolve at only 11 minutes on average. This issue can be avoided entirely by ensuring that your drivers are correctly registered to your company with eModal before they enter the terminal.

Another major contributor at the trouble window is the customs hold. It is our procedure to have drivers come to the window with their paperwork to clear customs holds. While the number of trouble transactions due to this cannot be changed, the time spent at the window can certainly be reduced by checking your containers on our website ahead of time for these types of holds and sending your driver in with all necessary paperwork or fees due.

We also see heavy volume at the trouble window with drivers that do not have the correct Pin number for their transaction. This takes drivers an extra 17-21 minutes to get their container on average and accounts for as much as 16% of all trouble transactions. By making sure that drivers have the correct information, this number can be greatly reduced.

Breakdown of Trouble Transactions over January and February

Breakdown of Trouble Transactions over January and February

Time Lost

Two unnecessary trouble tickets that have caused long wait times can be easily corrected.  The first is arriving too early for the scheduled pick-up appointment time.  Drivers should arrive at the terminal no earlier than one hour from their scheduled pick-up appointment time.  This will allow them to complete any return moves and stage for the pick-up.  Drivers arriving prior to one hour before their appointment   will have to wait causing undue stand-by time.  WBCT will process drivers in for PierPass pick-ups at 1700, and 1800 for Export PierPass returns.  Drivers arriving prior to that time will be forced to wait outside the gates until those times. Please dispatch your drivers accordingly, as over the last two months we have seen average wait times at 28 minutes for imports and 57 minutes for exports due to the above mentioned troubles.

The second most time-consuming trouble ticket is issued to drivers with booking issues or trucking company issues.  The booking issue could be anything from a full booking to the wrong size or type of container on a booking.  The trucking company issues are most commonly that the trucking company is not registered with the steamship line or the trucking company has been put on hold by the steamship line.  These issues can be avoided by regularly checking your booking, correctly dispatching drivers and making sure your company is currently registered and clear of any steamship line holds.  Please confirm both of these items prior to dispatching drivers to the terminal.

Equipment holds are the third most time-consuming trouble ticket issued to drivers.  Drivers arriving to pick up containers or chassis that are on hold will receive these unnecessary trouble tickets.  Information pertaining to container and chassis availability is available on our website  The information provided is current and drivers should never be dispatched to pick up a container or chassis that is showing on hold without consent from the terminal.

Average Delays (in minutes) by Type of Trouble Transaction in January and February

Average Delays (in minutes) by Type of Trouble Transaction in January and February


By following our above recommendations, we believe that trouble tickets and wait times can be reduced by at least 30%.  We also recommend familiarizing yourselves with Voyager Track Website (, which offers several tools our customers can utilize including appointment setting, container availability and payment options.  We also encourage you to reach out to our customer service staff for assistance resolving or avoiding these issues if you can’t resolve the issue online.  The customer service group can be reached via email at and

Trouble Ticket Report #4 – YTI

As part of our initiative to reduce the number of transaction problems experienced when trucks pick up or deliver containers at the marine terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, PierPass has been surveying terminal operators to determine the most common causes of trouble tickets.

In this month’s example, Bill Peratt and Doug Hansen from Yusen Terminal Inc. (YTI) present their terminal’s experience for the months of November and December of 2012 and January of 2013. As with other terminals, a large percentage of trouble tickets could be avoided by checking the terminal’s web site or phone system before sending a driver to the terminal.

Although most trouble tickets can be avoided, it is important to understand that some containers such as hazardous, over dimensional and reefer containers will be issued a trouble ticket in order to have terminal staff review important paperwork, confirm reefer settings and confirm dimensions for terminal and vessel operations.

Bruce Wargo
President & CEO
PierPass, Inc.


Over the past three months as many as 8.25% of truckers attempting to enter YTI have been issued Drivers Assistance or “Trouble” tickets. The most common causes of trouble tickets included unavailability of import containers and booking number issues for export containers. Trouble tickets for both situations can be avoided by checking the terminal’s online container and booking number availability programs before sending a truck.

Another significant cause was import containers located in areas of the container yard that are closed due to vessel loading or unloading. As these partial yard closures are very dynamic, YTI suggests dispatchers check the YTI website shortly before sending a truck.

Trouble Ticket Analysis

The last three months show the following totals for trucker activity:

Month Total Passes Issued Total Trouble Tickets Percentage
Nov 2012 40,919 2,925 7.1%
Dec 2012 40,161 3,315 8.25%
Jan 2013 48,285 3,304 6.84%

The top 8 categories for the past three months are listed below:

Trouble Ticket Category November 2012 December 2012 January 2013
Booking error/number/equipment/TMF Hold 866 861 728
Closed Area of Yard 690 880 951
Line Empty not Allowed 499 363 195
Bad Container Number 158 217 229
Container on Customs/Freight/Terminal Hold 141 221 259
Trucker Not Authorized for Line 96 92 100
Container has Already Been Delivered 96 92 100
Free Time Has Expired 19 72 75
Total for Month 2205 2760 2611

Percentages for the top 8 categories in each month are presented:

PP Pie Chart

The best way for truckers to turn around quickly is to avoid trouble tickets.  Here is how you and your dispatchers can avoid these costly delays and help improve the overall experience when picking up or delivering a container to YTI.

YTI and its Steamship Line partners have made available several online resources for the trucking community. The YTI website, has complete information on import container availability and hold status. Steamship Line sites present all necessary booking information.

PP Yusen

For a live view of the in and out gates as well as the chassis yard at YTI, please also visit our website, to find “Terminal Cameras” on the bottom right hand side of our home page.  This view will allow you to see what a driver can expect on arrival. Please note that the gates are generally underutilized in the first half of the day.


To be sure that you and your dispatchers have the most up to date scheduling information about YTI’s gates and yard areas, please refer to the YTI website homepage or the eModal website at

Pre- Dispatch / Departure Checklist and Terminal Contacts

PierPass continues to survey terminal operators at the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports to determine the most common causes of trouble tickets. Initial finding show that trouble tickets, while  caused by a range of issues, usually are tied to inaccurate or incomplete information about an import container delivery or an export booking problem. When issued a trouble ticket, the driver typically has to go to a “trouble window” or office to get the issue resolved. This results in delays for customers and truckers and higher costs for terminal operators. Below is a checklist and resources to assist the trucking community in finding the correct information about container deliveries and export bookings.

Click to Download

[slideshare id=16411454&doc=trouble-ticket-checklist-130207175847-phpapp02&type=d]

PierPass Trouble Ticket Report #3 – LBCT

This is our 3rd installment on trouble tickets and how they impact the truck driver and terminals. You can see that the most common problems are import container availability and export booking number information. This is not surprising but what is troubling is how many trucks continue to have these same issues at different terminals.

We continue to encourage truck companies to check the import availability and booking number validity in the terminal systems before sending a truck to the terminals.  eModal is another option for checking. Truck companies that spend the time and energy to check before hand, see less driver time on trouble ticket issues, it’s that simple. This information is commonly available and updated throughout the day. Why have truck drivers waste their time when in most cases, the issue can be avoided?

In this month’s example, Long Beach Container Terminal’s Jennifer Chase and Bill Madden discuss trouble tickets from their terminal’s experience and suggestions on how to avoid trouble ticket delays.

Bruce Wargo

President & CEO

PierPass, Inc.

Terminal Example: LBCTI (Long Beach Container Terminal; Pier F)

LBCT strives to provide a positive and productive experience for each and every one of our customers.

Currently, 7% of LBCT gate transactions require trouble ticket resolution. This equates to an average of 2,900 gate transactions per month.

There is an evident correlation between container availability, trouble tickets, and turn times. When a driver is dispatched to pick up a container that is unavailable, the result is a trouble ticket. Trouble tickets result in a costly and inconvenient experience for everyone involved including the driver, dispatcher, and terminal staff.

Below is a breakdown of the top ten trouble ticket reasons for September and October 2012.


PierPass Trouble Ticket Report #2 – ITS

In a previous News and Updates Newsletter, we talked about the unfortunate issue of the “trouble ticket”, how it affects truck drivers, and why we feel it is an important problem to resolve.  When a truck driver is sidelined at a container terminal due to a trouble ticket problem, it can delay the driver for an hour or more, depending on the issue.  Trouble tickets happen at all the terminals, and in most cases can be avoided with a little pre-arrival work to ensure the driver has correct information before going to the terminal.  We want to do our best to communicate how this issue effects all stakeholders in the movement of containers, so that steps can be taken to avoid trouble tickets.

We pointed out in our previous report that there are tools available to help avoid trouble tickets and the delays they create for the drayman.  We encourage all trucking companies to review their procedures and make sure they check the terminal computer systems or for the import availability and export booking numbers before sending the driver to the terminal.

In this month’s example from International Transportation Service (ITS) Long Beach, Manager Bill Cologne discusses trouble tickets from his terminal’s experience and offers suggestions on how to avoid trouble ticket delays.

Bruce Wargo

PierPass, Inc.

Terminal Example:

For ITS, almost 6% of the truck drivers are issued a Driver Assistance Ticket or Trouble Ticket, which is about 1,600 drivers each month.  Most trouble ticket transactions are eventually resolved, however, many can be avoided altogether.  Trouble tickets make all the stakeholders less efficient and are costly for all those involved.  Not only does the driver wait for the problem to be resolved, but the terminal staff has to spend time involved in the resolution process, further adding to the cost and inefficiency.  Additionally, the cargo owner is delayed in receiving or delivering the container.

At ITS, we want all truckers and trucking companies to have a productive and efficient experience.  It is important to our own operation as well as the trucking company to make sure trucks arrive and depart in as timely a manner as possible.  Trouble tickets are something we can work together on reducing in order to improve the current experience.  We have included below a two month example of the trouble tickets generated for imports and exports only.

Below is the breakdown for the top 6 trouble ticket categories that occured in September and October, 2012:

  • Container is on Import TMF hold – 1121
  • Booking is on Export TMF hold – 752
  • Booking Number is Invalid – 367
  • Pin number is invalid for Import Pick-up – 317
  • Container is on Hold – 219
  • Booking is Full – 176

The numbers show that from this 2 month period, 51% of the trouble tickets involved import containers and 40% were related to export booking number problems.  Many of these could have been avoided by first checking the terminal system for the availability of import containers and export booking numbers.  You can do this by going to our website or calling our customer service numbers.

PierPass Trouble Ticket Report #1 – EMS

As the harbor community works to streamline cargo movements and reduce truck turn-times, there is a particular inefficiency that must be addressed:  the trouble ticket. While trouble tickets are caused by a range of issues, they almost always stem from inaccurate or incomplete information about an import container delivery or an export booking problem. This results in delays for customers and truckers and additional issues for terminal operators.

Fortunately, through the use of available tools, we can improve the situation and reduce truck turn-times by checking the availability of import containers or the validity of export booking numbers. All terminals have web-based availability systems and some have additional phone systems that allow the trucking and cargo communities to doublecheck before prematurely sending a trucker to the terminal. serves as another resource for confirming the validity and availability of cargo prior to pickup. When trucking companies fail to use these resources, truckers experience delays as a result.

In an effort to better understand the causes and effects of trouble tickets, PierPass will work with terminals over the next few months to document their experiences with trouble tickets. We understand that this is a problem across all terminals, but we also know that this problem can be improved by checking and confirming before dispatching.

Below please find the first terminal account of the trouble ticket issue.


As a terminal operator, EMS Ltd. (APL Terminal) would like each and every trucker to have a positive experience delivering or picking up a container at our terminal. We strongly recommend and ask that drivers collect all required information prior to entering the terminal. This includes using Pier Pass,, terminal website, customer service and our automated phone system to confirm that containers are discharged, cleared and ready for pickup.  For GGS, approximately 5 percent of all gate transactions end up at the trouble window – about 2,500 drivers every month.  We need your help to reduce the number of trouble tickets. Please see below our top 3 trouble ticket items which consist over 65% of the problem that can be avoided with unnecessary visit to our trouble window.












Please use the below contact information to contact Eagle Marine Services and see if a container is cleared and available. Keep in mind that drivers may be held up by others that did not check availability or booking information.


For automated container availability 24/7; Please call our Eagle Voice: (888) 815-3758

For Customer Service; Please call (310) 548-8815

Groundbreaking Study Provides First Comprehensive Measurement of Truck Queuing and Visit Times at the Ports

PierPass Inc. and Ability/Tri-Modal Transportation Services Inc. today released the results of the Turn Time Study that uses Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking to provide a common language and set of facts that the port community can use to discuss truck queuing and terminal visit times at the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

This study helps the port community discuss visit times based on factual information rather than on anecdotes, and provides the community a common set of metrics.

It evaluates three time periods: queue time, spent waiting in line outside the gates; terminal time, measuring from the entry gate to the exit gate; and visit time, the sum of queue and terminal time.

Key findings of the study include:

  • The median queue time in October was 20 minutes and the terminal time 31 minutes, for a total median visit time of 51 minutes.
  • The vast majority of visits take less than two hours: 27% are under 30 minutes, 58% under an hour, 75% under one and a half hours, and 86% under two hours. A further 12% of visits take two to four hours, and 1% to 2% of visits take between four and eight hours. 
  • About 91% of queue times were under an hour.
  • The median queue and visit times include trucks that choose to arrive early to wait for the 6:00 p.m. OffPeak to start.
  • The study found that daytime visits are shortest for trucks that arrive at 15:00. Median visit time for trucks arriving between 15:00 and 16:00 was 45 minutes, while for trucks arriving between 17:00 and 18:00 median visit time was 90 minutes, reflecting the 17:00 meal break.

When cargo volumes rebounded in the spring and summer of 2010, terminal operators opened additional service hours to hold down congestion. Those investments proved effective: while cargo volumes increased 6% from May to October, visit time decreased 13%, the study showed.

Stay tuned to for a video about the study, as well as an interview with Dr. Noronha, president of Digital Geographic Research Corp., which conducted the study. Read the Turn Time Study Executive Summary.

October Cargo Volume Update

October cargo volume at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has increased slightly from September volumes, following the peak holiday shipping season. The October volumes are well above the depressed levels we experienced in 2009. We are expecting lower volumes to continue through the Chinese New Year and Q1. Please check back for monthly updates on cargo volume statistics for the San Pedro Bay ports.

Fourth Quarter Cargo Volume Update

September cargo volume at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has dropped slightly from the 2010 high in August. As the end of the peak shipping season nears, we can expect to see cargo volume flatten through the remainder of 2010 and likely into the first quarter of 2011. The good news is that volume is still above the depressed levels we experienced in 2009. Check back for monthly updates on cargo volume statistics for the San Pedro Bay ports.

Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach Monthly Cargo Volume