A Goad to Unload?

On the 9th of February, The Journal of Commerce posted the headline: “LA-LB Aim to Combat Slow Turn Times at Ports”. The article reads as follows:

“The executive directors of the nation’s two largest container ports intend to address one of their most vexing and embarrassing problems – slow turn around times at terminal gates.

“The neighboring ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are conducting a competitive cargo study that will identify areas where productivity should be improved. The port directors said they will then consider a variety of measures, including incentives, to change operating processes in the harbor.

“A study by the Transportation Research Board last year revealed that most large ports experience periods of congestion tied to the opening of marine terminals each morning or the arrival of vessels at the terminals.

“Another study performed last year by PierPass found that the median truck turn time in Los Angeles-Long Beach was 51 minutes, and 58 percent of the truck visits took less than an hour. However, motor carriers consider visits of more than one hour unacceptable. They were especially upset about the finding that 12 percent of the truck visits took two to four hours to complete.

“Landlord ports have no direct authority over marine terminal operations, but they do have measures at their disposal that can foster behavioral and operational changes among their marine terminal tenants. Geraldine Knatz, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, said offering incentives for good performance is one solution. When the competitiveness study is completed later this year, the ports plan to take action, but have set precedent for using financial incentives to influence behavior.

“Chris Lytle, executive, executive director (sic) of the Port of Long Beach, said the ports and their tenants must address productivity issues now while the industry is still recovering from the lengthy economic recession … ‘When we’re back up, we want the system to be efficient,’ he said. Lytle said a port-wide appointment system for truckers, or individual systems that cover all of the container terminals, is a concept worth investigating …” –

“Worth investigating”, Mr. Lytle? We’ve been sending e-mails and faxes to officials at that container port complex for more than seven years. They know full well that the only way to solve all their problems is to follow ex-Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta’s advice. He advised anyone who cared to listen that container handling must be shifted to 200 smaller U.S. ports, and away from the nation’s monstrous, congested, polluting ports – like LA-LB.

But how could that be done without knocking hundreds of greedy officials off the gravy train? Only by using our patented storage, retrieval and delivery systems, that’s how.

But don’t hold your breath. They don’t care to listen and they have no intention of stepping aside.