West Coast Ports Look at High-Tech Solutions

April 12, 2001

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Terminal operators at intermodal ports on the West Coast are looking at technology used in Europe to streamline gate operations.

According to the Journal of Commerce online edition, the technology includes optical scanners that allow trucks to move quickly through the terminal gate and software that cuts the number of times a container has to be handled in the yard. These are already in use in Europe, but U.S. ports have to go through contract negotiations with longshore unions.
Efficient terminals have the information on a shipment in hand before the container even gets to the facility, information experts told the paper. The process can be further expedited by having this information relayed to trucking companies. Harbor trucking operations are using new services such as eModal and Americas Systems Inc. to do just that. The challenge is to get all of the terminals in a particular port to use the same system.

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