More delays for truckers at Port of Houston

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | Monday, April 22, 2013

Delays continue to plague truckers trying to drop cargo off at the Port of Houston.

The opening of a new gate system last week left some drivers waiting in lines for up to eight hours last week. A trucker at the port who spoke to Land Line on Monday said the delays have improved somewhat, although lines and processing times are still much longer than the usual 30 minutes to one hour.

“Friday was better (than Monday); the lines were running faster,” the driver said. “Gate time was returning to normal, but there was still a backlog.”

A representative for the Port could not be reached for comment on Monday. Last week, Bill Hensel, a spokesman for the department said “data conversion” issues between the old and new gate systems was to blame for the delays.

Delays at the port for drivers mean reduced wages, as many operators are paid on a per-load basis. The long lines can also have a ripple effect on the entire supply chain.

“A lot of people worked Saturday and that’s not normal,” the driver said. “To properly qualify normal and say ‘gate-turn time is normal’ is accurate, but we have empties sitting at terminal. We have a lot of office work to catch all this stuff up. And drivers never make up that time (spent waiting). They never make up that fuel they’ve burned.”

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