Port of Virginia to launch new truck reservation system
Date: Friday, February 2, 2018
Source: American Shipper
The Port of Virginia on March 1 will launch the first phase of its new motor carrier appointment system, dubbed the “PRO-PASS Trucker Reservation System (TRS),” in an effort to improve overall cargo efficiency, the port said in a statement.
The PRO-PASS TRS will first be rolled out at Norfolk International Terminals (NIT), and then at Virginia International Gateway (VIG) this summer.
In this initial phase, motor carriers calling NIT between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m., Monday through Friday, must have a reservation, and the port plans to add more mandatory hours once the trucking community adjusts to the new TRS.
The TRS roll-out represents the culmination of more than two years of discussions between the port’s innovation and operations teams, local motor carriers and software development firms aimed at creating a system to help better manage the flow of trucks to and from cargo terminals.
Last summer, the port opened a brand new, 26-lane, $42 million truck entryway called the North Gate complex. The complex allows for motor carriers to enter and exit the terminal in a “seamless” manner, according to the port. And because the gate’s technology package was developed with the PRO-PASS TRS in mind, the hardware and technology infrastructure for the system is already in place.
“This system allows us to manage flow at the gates, it creates efficiency for our terminal operations teams and for drivers, it provides greater visibility to cargo owners and it is a planning tool for us and everyone that moves their cargo to the port by truck,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA). “We listened intently to direction from those people that will be using the system and have put a lot of time, effort and resources into creating something that will benefit multiple users in different ways. The goal is improved delivery of service.
“The challenges we are having at our gates are very telling and an important learning experience,” Reinhart added. “We are learning that as our volumes grow and we begin to bring more capacity online, we must ensure flow at our gates throughout the day. Having all the motor carriers show up when we open is not efficient. Spreading out the truck volume across the day is the solution and we’ve developed an innovative, fair, easy and useful way of doing it.”
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