operators in the busiest U.S. ports, including Los Angeles, Long
Beach, New York and New Jersey, are staying open longer to reduce
congestion, but some importers and exporters aren’t maintaining
similar hours, according to Traffic World Magazine.
and terminal operators are under pressure to improve productivity,
reduce diesel emissions from idling trucks and relieve traffic jams.
Extending gate hours, either through a second shift (6 p.m. to 2
a.m.) or an early morning shift (3 a.m. to 8 a.m.) is the least
complicated solution, according to various groups.
if importers and exporters won't pay the extra cost of keeping their
distribution centers open for a second or third shift, truckers
won't use the extended-hours gates. The truckers don't want to risk
the liability of holding a container of costly merchandise overnight.
the time that truckers wait in terminals is a vital factor in motivating
shippers, warehouses and drayage providers to take advantage of
off-peak gate hours,” said Robin Lanier, executive director of the
Waterfront Coalition, which represents importers and retailers.
“The distinct benefit to all these entities in moving to after-hour
gates is the ability to receive cargo much more quickly. This advantage
will swiftly evaporate if truckers wait an hour and a half to receive
to act invites legislation such as a new California law that allows
marine terminals to be fined $250 for every truck that must idle
more than 30 minutes, the coalition said. The law has encouraged
terminals to establish appointment systems for trucks.
the coalition is urging its members to support extended gates by
committing enough traffic to off-peak hours to make the gates financially
attractive to terminals. The coalition recently surveyed cargo owners
and consolidators and found they are increasingly taking advantage
of gates that are open at night.
appear to be some initial problems that cargo owners and their drayage
companies need to work out as they try to use gate hours,” Lanier
said. “As time passes, these kinks are worked out and more cargo
is moved to off hours.”