NY-NJ port truckers ready to use GPS to measure turn times

The main trucker advocacy group at the Port of New York and New Jersey is preparing to launch a satellite-based system to compile data on truck turn times at the port’s five main terminals in an effort to prod terminals into reducing delays.

The Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers in recent weeks has tested the system with information from 800 to 900 trucks fitted with global positioning system devices. The data are used to measure queue times outside gates and the time that vehicles spend inside terminals.

Association officials hope the data will highlight concerns about the difficulties their drivers endure when taking containers in and out of the nation’s third-busiest port. Sporadic bouts of congestion and delays in recent years have routinely increased queue and turn time at some terminals to well above an hour on the best days, and often to several hours.

“It’s not about pointing fingers, it’s about improving efficiency,” said Lisa Yakomin, spokesperson for the association. “That’s all we are looking for. We are not looking to call people out … It’s a tool for our members.”

The initiative echoes those at other ports, in particular on the West Coast, where truckers enacted GPS-based systems three years ago and have found some terminal operators responsive to problems underscored by the data. Shippers have also paid to receive the data, finding it useful in planning their supply chain.

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Source: www.JOC.com

Empty Hanjin Containers Pile Up, Causing Headaches at Southern California’s Ports

As Hanjin Shipping Co. vessels drop off containers after weeks stranded at sea following the company’s bankruptcy, ports are dealing with a new problem: what to do with the empty boxes they leave behind.

Since the South Korean ocean carrier filed for bankruptcy five weeks ago, roughly 15,000 Hanjin containers have trickled in through the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, often weeks after they were due to arrive. Now emptied of their goods, many are cluttering warehouse yards and parking lots across Southern California. With Hanjin’s ships no longer making the trans-Pacific trip, the company’s containers aren’t needed to carry goods back and forth.

While the stranded containers themselves are a nuisance, logistics companies say the bigger issue is that many are still attached to the wheeled trailers that trucks used to get them off the docks. These pieces of equipment, known as chassis, are vital to port operations, and putting thousands out of commission can delay the container deliveries for all shipping companies—not just Hanjin—people in the industry say.

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Source: Wall Street Journal

Intermodal Continues to Revolutionize Logistics and Industrial Real Estate Strategies

In October 2014, Rich Thompson and Keith Stauber from JLL pointed out that “a looming capacity shortage in the trucking industry — coupled with rail’s high efficiency — is causing logistics suppliers and transportation providers to turn their focus to intermodal solutions.”Railroads have stepped up and are impacting the supply chain logistics landscape. This is visible in several visible ways:

  • Intermodal rail carload movements have grown faster than other types of rail freight movements, partly due to growing container/trailer volumes and partly due to declining coal shipments.
  • East Coast ports’ share of international container volumes, imports in particular, have increased, supported by East Coast railroads. This may force West Coast ports and railroads to rethink their strategies, as this trend may be extended due to the Panama Canal expansion to accommodate larger ships.
  • Investments in inland logistics centers, such as the Logistics Park in Kansas City, are increasing. The most recent announcement came from the Georgia Ports Authority regarding its Appalachian Regional Port to be located in Northwest Georgia.

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Source: Area Development

Mack testing zero-emission capable drayage trucks

In partnership with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), Mack Trucks says it will demonstrate two zero-emission capable Class 8 drayage trucks as part of a California-based heavy-duty truck development project designed to help reduce air pollution at freight-intensive locations throughout the state.

The project is funded through a $23.6 million grant from the State of California.

SCAQMD will partner with four separate air quality districts in California to work toward the first large-scale demonstration of zero-emission heavy-duty trucks. As one of the truck manufacturers selected to receive funding, the Mack trucks will focus on ultra-low NOx technologies, while advancing plug-in hybrid and geo-fencing capabilities explored in previous and on-going projects.

Dennis Slagle, president of Mack Trucks, says the goals of the zero-emission capable drayage truck project include reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions at locations with heavy freight volumes, including ports, rail yards and the freight corridors connecting them.

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Source: www.ccjdigital.com/

LA-LB port complex faces unique productivity challenges

Los Angeles-Long Beach exceptionalism has created unique challenges for the largest U.S. port complex that require solutions unlike any that many other ports would contemplate, according to Moffatt & Nichol’s vice president of port planning.

Expecting marine terminals in LA-LB to operate like their counterparts in Asia, Europe, the U.S. East Coast or even terminals that are more efficient than those in Southern California, is unrealistic. “People who say that we should be doing things like they do over there don’t know what they are talking about,” Larry Nye told the Propeller Club of Southern California last week. “Our terminals are unique in the world,” he said.

This exceptionalism starts with a cargo mix that is almost two-to-one import containers, which are logistically more difficult to handle than exports. Being the first port inbound in a two-port rotation in the busy eastbound trans-Pacific results in 85 percent to 90 percent of each vessel being worked in LA-LB, which means huge container exchanges with each call. Finally, a crush of truck traffic that is impossible to handle in a normal 40-hour work week on the docks has forced the terminals to run a regular menu of extended gates five days a week. The port complex averages about 30,000 gate moves each working day, according to PierPass.

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Source: www.JOC.com

Port Trucker Case Is Tip of the NLRB’s Spear Aimed at Contractor Status

You may have seen recent news stories about the Los Angeles regional director of the National Labor Relations Board filing a complaint accusing a California port drayage firm for misclassifying drivers as independent contractors. But what you may not be aware of is this is just the first step in a planned nationwide assault on independent contractor status by the NLRB.

In late March Richard E. Griffin Jr., NLRB’s general counsel, issued a memo to the board’s regional directors laying out an agenda he expects them to pursue. Many of the categories of cases described are intended to overturn established precedent and create new standards that will impact all worker/management relationships—both union and nonunion.

One category involves cases where Griffin wants them to apply his theory that independent contractor status by its very definition constitutes an unfair labor practice whether or not a union is involved.

In his view—one shared by a majority of the board members—the NLRB’s enabling law covers any employees who are engaged in what are considered concerted protected activities. This protection extends to nonunion workplaces where employees discuss and act together to address wages and working conditions, even if an organizing campaign is not involved.

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Source: Material Handling & Logistics

Port of Long Beach Hails Impact of Lowering Vessel Speeds

The Port of Long Beach (PoLB) says its Green Flag Program, which offers financial rewards for reducing vessel speed near the harbour to decrease emissions, enabled shipping lines calling at the port to cut thousands of tonnes of air pollution during 2015.

“Our environmental initiatives have led to dramatic improvements in air quality,” said Jon Slangerup, CEO of Port of Long Beach.

“We have surpassed our clean air goals for 2014 and nearly all of them for 2023. We continue to aspire to be the world’s first zeroemissions port.”

The programme, which provides dockage rate breaks to shipping lines that slow to 12 knots or less within 20 or 40 nautical miles of the port, is said to have seen 154 vessel operators in 2015 meet or exceed the programme’s required 90 percent participation rate.

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Source: Ship and Bunker

More port truckers strike at the twin ports of LA, LB

Drivers working for XPO picketed against the company Monday, Feb 29. The drivers joined protests already underway by drivers for Pacific 9 Transportation.

Barb Maynard, spokeswoman for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, told Land Line Now both groups believe they’re victims of job misclassification and wage theft.

“At XPO, the company has been trying to force the drivers to sign new lease agreements that effectively waive their right to fight back on this misclassification issue,” Maynard told Land Line Now. “That’s why the drivers are so angry. They’re not interested in signing these new lease agreements.”

Drivers working for XPO took part in multiple protests and labor actions in conjunction with the Teamsters last year. Drivers have been striking against Pacific 9 Transportation since last July.

The Justice for Port Drivers organization says XPO’s SEC filings for 2014 included an accounting for liability related to driver misclassification.

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Source: www.LandLineMag.com

Officials seek action to correct emissions breaches at Port of Los Angeles

Elected officials are demanding swift action and increased oversight at the Port of Los Angeles following disclosure that a second major shipping company has been allowed to skirt requirements to reduce harmful diesel emissions.

Port officials failed to require two large terminal operators, TraPac and China Shipping, to comply with air quality improvement measures the city adopted years ago, including mandates that massive cargo ships shut down their diesel engines and plug into shore-based electricity while at the docks.

Instead, a high percentage of those vessels have been allowed to leave their engines on, spewing exhaust over homes, businesses and schools in nearby San Pedro and Wilmington, where residents live within hundreds of feet of the TraPac terminal. Health studies have shown people who live near the port complex have increased asthma rates and the region’s highest cancer risk from air pollution.

TraPac’s failure to meet the requirement is “a huge breach of faith,” said U.S. Rep.Janice Hahn (D-Los Angeles), who as an L.A. City Council member helped negotiate the shore power requirement as a condition for allowing TraPac to expand operations at the city-owned port in 2009.

How Did the Port of Long Beach Rebound?

The year that recently ended saw a big rebound for the port of Long Beach. Its biggest year since 2007 took the port back to pre-recession volume levels.

The port handled about 7.2 million TEUs in 2015, only the third time in its 105-year history that it exceeded seven million TEUs. Year-over-year volume growth was 5.4 percent, nearly double that of the U.S. economy in 2015. During July and August, Long Beach achieved record cargo volumes resulting in the port’s biggest quarter in its history with more than two-million TEUs moved through the port in the third quarter alone.

Although the port saw record volumes through the peak season, it experienced no chronic congestion problems as it had in the past. “In fact,” said port CEO Jon Slangerup, in his state of the port address, “trucking queues and turn-times dropped by a third and rail fluidity and velocity reached record levels of performance. And perhaps most satisfying was the fact that in the back half of the year, we began gaining market share after losing share for four years in a row.”

 

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Source: www.globaltrademag.com