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Truckers Still Lining Up At Savannah Port

January 22, 2002

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A local television station in Savannah, Ga., reports that truckers who haul containers in and out of the Port of Savannah continue to experience hours-long delays, despite a computer system that was supposed to address the problem.
Truckers regularly face hours-long waits at the Port of Savannah.
Truckers regularly face hours-long waits at the Port of Savannah.

According to WSAV News 3, truckers are still waiting for up to three hours before they can enter the port. The Georgia Ports Authority's latest report shows a 12% growth in the last six months.
The Georgia Ports Authority told the stations it's not their responsibility to fix the lengthy line problems. Instead, they say, the stevedores - especially Gateway - should hire more longshoremen to get the trucks moving through faster.
Representatives from Gateway say they are hiring one more person to start work next week. But they say the port should provide more facilities, such as more lanes and more scales.
Jim Stewart, a port trucker involved with trying to get port drivers organized in Savannah, calls it "the port of confusion."
"The lines on the inside of this port are just as long as the lines outside the gates," Stewart says," but the public and the media only see the blockage out into the highway." Stewart says that during ship loading or unloading, port officials pull most equipment away from truck loading or unloading operations. In addition, he says, when drivers are assigned a work order at the interchange gate for the GPA lift operator to remove or to load a box out in the container stack, trucks aren't taken in the order they arrived, but simply by who's closest to the lift operator, he says. "You may have to wait while they do 20 trucks in front of you that were checked in after you arrived."

The Teamsters union has pledged to organize port truckers at Savannah and other U.S. ports.

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