Cause and Effect

This column attracted some attention yesterday. Trucking companies and railroad companies are now wondering why shipowners continue to absorb the $ 30,000 to $ 50,000 daily cost of waiting for berthing spaces in congested ports like Los Angeles and Long Beach. Some of those shipowners, though not all of them, own terminals, and the operations within these terminals can only be described as primitive. Except for some pretty expensive container handling equipment, these terminals stack, search for, retrieve and deliver boxes exactly the way it was done forty years ago. But ports are handling much, much more now than had to be handled back then. Trucking companies and railroad companies are expanding and will continue to expand as long as they have the space and the resources to do so, but container terminals have already come to the end of the line … as far as space is concerned, that is. There is an abundance of financial resources and brainpower available, but no space. Meanwhile, yard workers, truck drivers, independent terminal operators and the railroads are being blamed for all the hangups that occur along the supply chain even though the cause of the problems, as well as the solution, lies elsewhere.

When seeking a solution for an unacceptable effect (the congestion), one must first consider the cause (the growing volume). Those who are in authority in those shipping companies that own container terminals have given every indication that, no matter what the cost, they’ll find a way to solve the problems besetting the supply chain. Their ships are offloading ever increasing amounts of profitable cargo at their own terminals, and this is what’s causing the delays and breakdowns all along the delivery chain. Failed efforts to speed up the handling and delivery of this cargo in congested terminals subtract great sums from the bottom line as a result, but what can be done about it? This brings us again to the financial resources, the brainpower, and the “no matter what the cost” issues. Millions, no … billions of dollars have been spent in sincere attempts to make life easier for those in the delivery chain and, according to the maritime journals, billions more have been set aside to continue this uneventful search. It’s obvious that there’s no lack of funding here, and it’s also widely known that there’s no lack of will power and no lack of brain power. But no matter the degree of mental acumen, the old, old adage still holds; “You don’t know what you don’t know.”

The purpose of this website is to introduce and describe a patented system for storage, retrieval and delivery of containers. If anyone at all, regardless of his/her IQ, could have anticipated this system beforehand, the patent would have been unobtainable. This absolves from blame, therefore, all those who haven’t solved our congestion problems because they had yet to learn of this patented system. But with this new knowledge, the available funding, and their ever-present determination, what is standing in the way of implementation? The cost, maybe? That’s the rosy part of the picture.

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