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Feb.6, 2017

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56 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE FEBRUARY 6.2017 EAST COAST PORTS SPECIAL REPORT AN APPOINTMENT SYSTEM designed to combat congestion and improve efficiency at a major terminal of the Port of New York and New Jersey has cut about 40 percent off turn times, the terminal operator says. GCT Terminals said the early analysis is promising. Port truckers skeptical of its merits said they didn't encounter any major problems in the early operation of the program in January. Beginning Jan. 15, all trucks entering Global Container Ter- minal in Bayonne between 6 am and 8 am were required to make an appointment the day before, in the latest effort by a major US port to improve efficiency by smoothing the flow of traffic and containers in and out of container terminals. New York-New Jersey is the latest port to try an appoint- ment system in an effort to improve container and truck flows in and out of terminals, and provide consistency as to how long it will take. Seven of the 13 container terminals in the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex have appointment systems, and at least two more are expected to come online this year. Oakland International Container Terminal, the largest termi- nal in Oakland, started an appointment system last year, and a voluntary truck reservation system has been in operation for several years at Virginia International Gateway. Port of New York and New Jersey officials said that after the system at Global Container Terminal is running smoothly, the time period in which appointments are required will be expanded. The system, which was funded and developed by a conference of all of the port's six terminals, will likely be implemented in the other port terminals if it works at Global Container Terminal. John Atkins, president of Global Container Terminal USA, which owns the terminal, said about 350 truck appointments were made in the initial two days of the program, with about 425 made for the third day. Initial analysis shows the appointment system helped cut turn times at the terminal by 40 percent compared with turn times after 8 am, after which no appointments are required, he said. Turn times were more than 40 percent lower than a typi- cal morning between 6 am and 8 am on which the appointment system was not in place, Atkins said. "A couple of days doesn't set a trend, but we are very pleased with the early results we have got," said Atkins, who did not give the length of turn times in minutes. The system, at just one of six terminals at the largest port on the East Coast, is designed to improve drayage efficiency. Such efficiency at the port is critical as it prepares to meet the NY-NJ truck-appointment system receives promising reviews in its early days By Hugh R. Morley CLOCKING IN, AND SAVING TIME

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