Port of Oakland users want trucks to get in and out of its marine terminals in less time. That was the message from an Efficiency Task Force that met here this week. The group of cargo owners, terminal operators, labor representatives and others called for a 90-minute maximum wait time for harbor drivers.
“If we’re going to be the best port on the West Coast of the U.S., let’s shoot for this target,” said Scott Taylor, head of the Task Force’s metrics subcommittee and CEO of GSC Logistics, one of the largest trucking firms at the Port of Oakland. “There’s a lot of work to do, but we can get there.”
Trucker wait times – turn times in industry vernacular – were one of several measurement benchmarks proposed by the Task Force. Among others: a call for at least 80 percent of the Port’s chassis fleet to be available at all times. The lack of chassis, trailers that transport containers over the road, contributes to driver delays.
Timely cargo flow has emerged as a concern for importers and exporters as Oakland container volume grows. Some say drivers wait more than two hours at marine terminals to pick up loads. Here’s the benchmark proposed by the Task Force to address the concern:
- Drivers should wait no more than 45 minutes to complete single transactions such as picking up imports or delivering exports.
- They should wait no more than 90 minutes for dual transactions.
The proposed benchmarks come from a Task Force assembled by the Port in 2015 to improve cargo-handling performance. Committee members, all Port stakeholders, said measurement standards are needed to improve cargo-handling speed and efficiency. The Port said it will review the proposals in time for the next Task Force meeting in March.
The Efficiency Task Force said it’s also exploring a mandatory appointment system for the Port’s marine terminals. The system would require truck drivers to schedule a time to pick up or drop off containers. Its goal: shorten queues that often form outside terminal gates.