The Port of Long Beach announced that the southern California port is collaborating with its marine terminal operators to bolster the number of “two-way” truck deliveries amid the strongest cargo surge in the port’s 109-year history.
The four companies that operate the Port’s six container terminals — International Transportation Service, Long Beach Container Terminal, SSA Marine, and Total Terminals International — have committed to increasing the number of truck moves that pair an export container delivery with an import container pickup appointment during the same visit.
The port and its container cargo terminal operators are working directly with truck drivers and customers to improve the appointment system and maximize the number of these dual transactions, aimed at balancing inbound and outbound cargo flow, and thus improve efficiency within the supply chain.
With a goal of ensuring that at least 50% of the port’s deliveries are dual transactions, all Long Beach terminal operators are implementing system enhancements and encouraging trucking companies and drivers to drop off an empty cargo container while picking up an imported container.
Long Beach marine terminal operators have already made significant strides to achieve dual transactions, with some terminals already achieving more than 70%, according to the port. Increasing the share of dual trips will maximize opportunities for drivers and make the entire supply chain more efficient.
“Increasing the share of dual transactions will optimize truck deliveries, terminal appointments and chassis availability during this unprecedented time in the port’s history,” said Mario Cordero, executive director, Port of Long Beach.
Long considered a necessary step to achieve operational efficiencies, this move by marine terminal operators puts the Port of Long Beach ahead of other gateways, according to the port. While some exceptions will apply, prioritizing dual transactions will ultimately increase truck operation efficiencies while also helping the port handle record cargo volumes triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Severe bottlenecks at a number of U.S. ocean ports recently prompted the Federal Maritime Commission to look into whether ocean lines’ detention, demurrage, and container policies are making the situation worse.