Photo via Port of Long Beach

Photo via Port of Long Beach

The Harbor Truck Association has announced that it is supporting a new plan to reduce congestion at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, according to a report by the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

The HTA will be launching Trucker Chassis Connection, a system designed to hasten the process of finding the chassis truckers servicing the port need to haul cargo containers.

Truckers will use the Chassis Finder app to locate available chassis. Chassis availability has been blamed for much of the congestion that occurs around the ports.

Via a partnership between the HTA and Chassis Finder, an initial 200 chassis will be set aside at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for trucking companies working the ports. An additional 50 chassis will be available for the Port of Oakland.

HTA member companies will be able to make use of the pool of chassis by June 1.

The app shows available chassis by location, date, quantity and type and allows users to quickly lease the equipment they want. While 200 chassis is a small number to start, the group will increase it based on demand.

In another move to improve efficiency, the ports have taken steps toward automating several of the processes, according to a report by Bloomberg.  By 2016, the two ports plan to implement remote-controlled cranes to service arriving ships and driverless trucks to carry cargo to the sorting yard.

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach gained international attention earlier this year for a work strike that caused millions of dollars’ worth of delays to incoming cargo at the harbor. The stoppage was caused by a labor dispute by the Pacific Maritime Association and the Longshoremen union.

The two groups eventually worked out a tentative deal ending the strike and recently voted to ratify a new five-year contract.

The new deal features an enhanced arbitration system designed to support waterfront stability, addressing the widespread impact the strike had on West Coast port business.

“The disruptions that occurred during negotiations, and the inconvenience and hardship created by them, were regrettable,” said Jim McKenna, PMA President and CEO. “We look forward to building upon the incredible advantages West Coast ports offer and winning back the trust and confidence of the shipping community.”