As Peak Season Nears, the Port of Long Beach Delivers Decrease in truck turn times means faster service

As Peak Season Nears, the Port of Long Beach Delivers Decrease in truck turn times means faster service

Peak season is upon us, and with it, the Port of Long Beach has good news to share with you. Our supply chain optimization efforts continue to pay off with goods like your shoes moving to market faster and more reliably than ever.

How do we know? One key measurement is our truck turn times, or the time a driver spends to get through the terminal gate queue, into the terminal to pick up or deliver a container, and exit back through the gate. In May, the median truck turn time was 63 minutes, down from 74 minutes in February, and down from 138 minutes a year ago. So we’re closing in on our near-term goal of consistent turn times under an hour, which is so important to the efficiency of our hauling partners.

One initiative that is helping turn times is our Middle Harbor megaterminal, which is the most advanced and greenest terminal in the Western Hemisphere. Phase 1 of this $1.3 billion facility came online in April and is performing exceedingly well. This all-electric cargo-handling operation features tandem ship-to-shore cranes capable of handling two 40-foot containers at a time, along with automated stacking cranes and robotic container transporters that interact seamlessly with the terminal’s truck and rail intermodal facilities. With a mandatory truck appointment system in place, drivers using Middle Harbor are experiencing truck turn times of 40 minutes or less, which is setting the pace for our entire Port.

Another initiative is the improvement made with chassis availability since early 2015. The “street dwell” time for chassis that hold containers has been a significant issue for our importers. Every day that a chassis sits idle at a distribution center, waiting to be unloaded before it is returned to the Port, has an adverse impact on the overall availability of chassis at terminals. A year ago, our street dwell averaged five to eight days. Now it’s down to two or three days. We achieved this by partnering with major chassis providers and the Port of Los Angeles to create a “pool of pools” made of more than 80 percent of the chassis in the combined harbor area. Trucks are now able to pick up and deliver chassis to multiple locations regardless of who owns the equipment, further increasing their efficiency.

Throughout the Port of Long Beach, we are looking at every opportunity to increase reliability, efficiency and velocity. Our truck turn times have come down in part because all of our terminal operators are focused on innovative ways to process cargo on an efficient and reliable basis. Progress with truck appointment systems, container “peel-off piles,” interoperable chassis exchanges, near-dock container yards and similar initiatives are just the down payment on the Port’s commitment to continually upgrade infrastructure, processes and services needed to exceed your expectations.

Great things are happening at the Port of Long Beach. Thank you again for choosing Long Beach as your gateway of choice. We are proud to be your partner during this peak season.