California Ports - July stats show record-breaking use of Premier Appointment System TM at West Coas

By: | at 08:00 PM | Channel(s): Ports & Terminals  

In July, 98% of non-rail import containers at Hanjin Shipping’s Pier T Long Beach Container Terminal, operated by Total Terminals International (TTI), were picked up by truckers making appointments using the Premier Appointment System TM (PAS), a fully integrated software enhancement of industry-leading Web site VoyagerTrack® and the most utilized appointment system in the North America.
July’s figures demonstrated a 61% increase in the PAS usage from May and a 13% increase from June. VoyagerTrack’s Web site now averages more than one hit a second, when equated to business hours, and recently reached new highs of more than 80,000 per week for an individual terminal. Since its initial 1997 deployment, the site has consistently recorded dramatically increased usage, with 2004 running 55% higher than 2003, which was 94% higher than 2002 usage.
Steve Longbotham, MTC vice president - customer technology, attributes part of the tremendous response to the value users experience from the system’s ease of use, aid in handling issues quickly and increased predictability of terminal activity levels.
According to Longbotham there is an enormous amount of increased information available to all parties as the PAS is monitored around the clock. Trucking companies can see the number of available appointments corresponding to their containers’ position in the yard and can sequence their total container picks ups accordingly. One such trucking customer is AA Transport, Inc., located in Gardena, CA.
“VoyagerTrack’s PAS system speeds up our business,” said Marcella Alcala, customer service and dispatch for AA Transport. “Drivers are getting through the terminal faster, without having to go to the trouble window. We can check availability before going to pick up the containers. We don’t have to waste time being on hold to check it. If there is a problem, VoyagerTrack e-mails us the problem ticket so we don’t have to call to get the ticket number and find out what is wrong. We can start taking care of the problem immediately.”
At the TTI Hanjin terminal in Long Beach, where an average of two-thirds of appointments are made the previous day, the terminal can assist the day operation by selectively pre-mounting containers from heavily scheduled areas at night, thereby increasing the dayside capacity. The facility currently runs weekly “hoot” third shifts, opening the gates at 2:00 a.m. on the flex plan, with the transtainers beginning operations at 3:00 a.m. The day shift starts at 7:00 a.m. on the flex option, which creates a shift change at 7:30 a.m. TTI has a full-service Saturday gate. Sunday gates are available per steamship lines’ request.
“Appointments allow us to pre-mount containers for truckers using the PAS enhancement. This combination of services has resulted in a 40% drop in overall turn time on decked import loads from April, when the appointment system was not being utilized as it was designed,” TTI Terminal Manager Mark Milburn said. “By matching available appointments more exactly to transtainer productivity, we are ensuring those with appointments are serviced appropriately. In the coming months, we will focus on export containers and in-gate empties to further reduce trucker turn times. Receiving advanced appointments for these container moves will allow TTI to order proper staffing to enable a dramatic reduction in turn times and delays, currently being experienced throughout the waterfront.”
Appointments as close as a half-hour in advance
Logistics 2000 of Carson, CA, uses the PAS at three Southern California container terminals.
“We use VoyagerTrack’s Premier Appointment System for picking up Yang Ming, Evergreen, China Shipping, Hanjin and Lloyd Triestino containers,” Traffic Manager Rony Velasquez told us. “I make appointments 99% of the time. PAS is the best appointment system. I would rather use PAS than other systems, like eModal. PAS is faster and more accurate. I really like the ability to make the appointment as close as a half-hour in advance. This important ability saves time

American Journal of Transportation