Overall feedback from our working group was that the measures taken by marine terminal operators to combat congestion and gridlock at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are working – a positive step forward for everyone.
Twelve of the 13 terminal operators have added back a fifth OffPeak gate, and most terminals have also reinstituted flex gates, where they remain open during lunch hours and breaks rather than shut down and start back up again.
However, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. At the top of the list of priorities for the working group? Agreeing on how to measure turn times and identifying ways to improve them.
Without industry agreement on what constitutes turn times at port terminals and how long the process should take, it will be difficult to establish long-term practices to address issues of congestion and wait time.
Now with many terminals investing in computerized and automated systems, it becomes easier to produce data on how long each truck is inside the terminal. However, we still need to work together to identify potential solutions to wait times outside the terminal gates to paint an overall picture on how to reduce overall wait time for the trucking community.
Consider this example from the Cunningham Report:
“Members of the group have suggested that one way to measure the queue would be to pick a distance from the gate that seems to be a fair measure for that terminal, then measure how much time is spent in that queue. If, for instance, that queue is a quarter of a mile long, and there were no trucks in the queue, then the waiting time for a truck moving at 30 miles an hour would be recorded at about 30 seconds.”
We’re encouraged by the progress of these working group meetings and are committed to keeping Southern California moving. Stay tuned for more working group updates.