According to port spokesmen, the average truck transaction times was just 62-to-72 minutes last month at Oakland marine terminals.
That was down from a high of 92 minutes in January.
Port spokesmen added that reduced transaction times mean containerized cargo is reaching shippers quicker. Faster times are also giving freight haulers the opportunity to make more trips, thereby earning more compensation.
“It’s an encouraging sign for all of us,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “It indicates that we’re operating more efficiently for the benefit of the global supply chain.”
Truck transaction times – known as turn times – measure how long it takes freight haulers to drop off or pick up cargo containers. Turn times averaged 62 minutes in May at Everport marine terminal, the port said.
The average at Oakland International Container Terminal was 69 minutes, with 72 minutes at TraPac terminal. The three terminals are where container ships load and unload international cargo. Thousands of truckers enter Oakland terminals daily to haul the cargo.
The port attributed turn time improvements to a series of measures implemented in Oakland over the past three years. The steps have included:
- The addition of night shifts to ease daytime terminal crowding;
- A requirement for appointments before truckers can pick up cargo; and
- Completion of a 2-year, $67 million expansion at TraPac.
The port said turn times were often two hours or more before operational changes took hold. It said that TraPac turn times have improved more than 20 percent from an average of 92 minutes in January.
Turn time averages include night shifts when transaction volume drops dramatically, the Port said. According to the port, more than 70 percent of truck transactions take place during daylight hours. That’s when harbor drivers are most likely to experience greater than average turn times.
The port said about 80 percent of freight haulers conduct dual transactions when visiting Oakland marine terminals. That means they’re delivering containers to the port – empties or export loads - before driving out with import boxes. The two steps are counted as one transaction for turn time purposes.
Oakland authorities compile turn time data from electronic feeds provided by marine terminal operators. It posts the data on its online gateway for supply chain operators.
Mike Zampa, the port’s communications director said in an interview that this shows that landside process improvements are still crucial to accelerating the pace of cargo movement.
“Our desire is to see more uptake for enhancements like night gates,” he added.