The Port of Virginia is delaying the implementation of the motor carriers’ appointment system at Norfolk International Terminals until this spring.

In a Tuesday announcement it said the first phase of the appointment system was scheduled for implementation late last year, but input from stakeholders at meeting in October regarding the schedule brought it to the conclusion to hold the project until the spring.

“The port, however, is continuing to move forward on other projects designed to meet the ongoing challenges at NIT’s main gate, the most recent of which was the implementation of the automated gate system at NIT in December,” the port authority said in a statement. “The appointment system, however, will be a priority project this year. The focus will be to have the system fully-implemented and operational well before the beginning of peak cargo season.”

The port said it is dedicated to the project because it will be used to regulate the flow of trucks into NIT to reduce the “rush hour” effect at the gate. It believes the appointment system will help to spread the gate moves more evenly throughout the day operations will be able to set a number of available reservations per hour. The port said the appointment system will work in conjunction with NIT’s terminal operating system and this will allow for better planning and use of manpower and assets based on the workload forecast.

A voluntary truck appointment system is currently in place at the Virginia International Gateway in Portsmouth.

According to the Journal of Commerce several U.S. ports are considering implementing appointment system for trucks to reduce turnaround times due to an increasing number of ships carrying more freight.