The “in-house” cure-all
How in the world will the “in-house” trucking, which we just mentioned, enable port authorities to “grow the port”? And what the heck is “in-house” trucking, anyway? Aren’t we being told by the authorities that trucking is the source of all that plagues the intermodal container industry?
Let’s go back to square one. The multitude of problems facing port officials have come about because primitive operations within our nation’s largest conventionally-structured container terminals use up too much valuable waterfront acreage. It’s that simple. Years ago, when operations were “wheeled”, space didn’t matter. Containers were offloaded and put within easy reach and in plain sight. No time was lost in getting a sought-after container to a trucker, and the word “congestion” was used only by your Mom when she was treating you for some kind of a chest cold.
When no further acreage was available for expansion,“wheeled” operations gave way to stacking operations, and “within easy reach and in plain sight” became a fond and distant memory. Much time was consumed in locating and repositioning containers in endless searching operations, and trucking became a costly and time-consuming exercise. But the early bird gets the worm, as everyone knows, and each trucker felt that it would be in his best interest to be first in line in order to waste less time. The only problem was that every trucker wanted to be first in line, and all of a sudden “congestion” became something more severe than just a chest cold.
Ever see a diesel rig standing by with its engine shut down? Probably not. Ever see several dozen diesel rigs standing by with engines idling and frustrated drivers boiling? Sure you have, and the stench was stifling and the drivers irate. That diesel stench was also polluting the air we breathe.
Let’s review the obvious. As TEU volumes increased and needed acreage was not available:
• Growing terminal operations became more and more troublesome and costly.
• Backed-up terminal operations delayed and increased the cost of offloading operations.
• Unsystematic terminal operations wasted precious time for piecework drivers.
• Stymied trucking operations became more and more troublesome and costly.
• Stymied trucking operations led to traffic congestion.
• Idling diesel engines polluted the air in port communities.
• Drivers on piece-work saw a reduction in take-home pay.
The blame for all this, of course, can be laid at the feet of the independent trucker, the scapegoat. Would the availability of more “valuable waterfront acreage” avert this impending catastrophe? Certainly it would, but whatever acreage existed along the waterfront has already been taken up for primitive container handling operations.
Our patented system, however, would free up 90% of the port’s acreage and eliminate all the problems discussed above – plus a few more. (See Vol. II, Art. 37 … “The Frosting on the Cake”).
[“In-house” trucking is the cure-all and will enable authorities to “grow the port” … responsibly.]