News — June 5, 2019

How does 1-Stop’s Vehicle Booking System improve bottom-lines across the Port Community

truck at terminal

1-Stop Connections’ Vehicle Booking System (VBS) can boost port productivity, enhance haulage productivity, reduce costs for Cargo owners and contribute to improved safety in the port environment.

Since the early days of containerisation and over the last 50 years or so, much has changed in the world of container ports.

The volume of containers handled in many terminals has, in parallel with the growth in global trade and the shift to the container as a safe, preferred, convenient and secure mode of transporting cargo around our world, grown enormously.

Meanwhile we, as consumers, continue to require ‘more for less’ and as a result of such a drive to reduce cost and save money at the point of sale, investment within those organisations that hold the assets within our international supply chains – namely the terminal operators, the container shipping lines and the transport companies (haulage companies or rail operators) has undoubtedly been held back.

We know that terminal operators generate most of their income from the handling of container ships, and unsurprisingly the primary focus of such organisations has been the activity on the quayside.

Container ships calling our ports continue to get larger and as such terminal operators are required to react to provide more equipment, labour and larger storage areas. While the quest for terminal operators, as set by the shipping lines, is to deliver more efficient and higher container handling rates on the quayside – a never-ending quest.

Terminal operators must react positively to such challenges as there is more competition and readily available terminal capacity throughout Europe.

Remembering that containers may enter and leave ports via the quayside and the hinterland (landside) the focus on the real customers of the supply chain – the cargo owner – has perhaps been off the radar of terminal operators for many years since it is the shipping line that directly pays the terminal operator for services delivered and not the haulier or cargo owner.

Shipping lines do not own and operate huge fleets of trucks or rolling stock. The third-party haulier and train operator are required to manage the risks associated with inefficiency at container terminals. There is usually an absence of a direct commercial agreement between the haulier and the terminal operator and so the haulier has limited ability to positively influence efficiency improvements.

Across Europe and the UK, we hear of both a shortage of drivers and the available trucking resource and, the negative impact of such shortages upon the supply chain.

In the quest for ‘smarter supply chains’ how is it that stakeholders of busy or congested container terminals can allow trucks to merely ‘sit and wait’ to be serviced. In these days of Automation, AI, data and digitisation we can easily improve the ‘lot’ of this valuable resource by providing software solutions – thus preventing wastage, cost and delay.

In realising that efficient landside solutions are another competitive feature of their function, many terminal operators are now investing in truck appointment systems to provide benefits to the end-user, with many hub ports and terminals now either out-sourcing solutions or developing their own ‘in-house’ solutions.

Many first-generation truck appointment systems and solutions may appease the hard-pressed haulage community over the short-term whilst clearly demonstrating to all stakeholders that the interests of the haulier and that the significance of an efficient landside function is on the development agenda of terminal operators.

A failure to continue to invest in such landside solutions may be disastrous and could be comparable with the more obvious and possibly catastrophic failure of not investing in the ever-increasing demands of shipside activity.

For those terminal operators that have identified the costs and issues associated with inefficient landside activity and that have provided something of a solution, continuing to invest in enhanced landside solutions to continue to improve the efficiency at the gates is imperative.

1-Stop continues to develop 21st century solutions for 21st century ports.

1-Stop has, over several years, developed a sophisticated platform that is now widely deployed across container terminals in Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines to help:

  • streamline operations,
  • enhance efficiency and
  • optimise productivity.

Improved visibility allows proactive planning

VBS provides appointment slots for truckers and, with the visibility of accurate landside demand (well in advance of trucks arriving at the terminal gate), the terminal operator may proactively prepare and allocate more (or less) resources to satisfy the established demand. Housekeeping moves for import deliveries may be performed at quieter times in the preceding days prior to truck arrival allowing reduced truck turn times.

Eliminate congestion, reduce delay whilst contributing to improved port productivity in a safer environment

For those facilities that suffer with congestion at the port gates, the access roads, the port roads or transfer areas VBS allows the terminal operator to carefully set and configure the number of appointments that are made available in each hour of the day. Smoothing out the peaks and troughs of landside activity over a 24hr period allows a steady and constant flow of vehicles and activity, reducing waiting time, reducing demurrage costs (waiting time charges), balancing demand with resource ensuring better productivity and utilisation and, contributing to a safer working environment where access roads and transfer areas are free of waiting trucks.

Introducing a charging structure to change behaviour and cover the costs of implementation & use

1-Stop has developed a simple model to encourage hauliers to improve their behaviours following the implementation the VBS across the world.  A carefully considered charge structure when introduced will allow the terminal operator to control activity levels and will cover the cost of laying on additional resource to cover periods of high demand. Ultimately, the terminal operator can determine exactly how VBS is to be used and will determine the level of any charges to be introduced.

Capacity Management

Did you know that busy, stretched container terminals working with 1-Stop’s VBS, as a result of a successful VBS implementation, are now operating at close to 50% density?

Sophisticated & evolving

A key feature of the 1-Stop VBS is that our solution is constantly being improved upon once implemented. 1-Stop offers system enhancements free of charge on a minimum of 6 occasions per calendar year and so our valued customers acquire an industry leading solution that evolves and grows with their business.

Simply put, what our customers purchase from us today is improved upon tomorrow and thereafter – for the benefit of all port users.

1-Stop’s VBS is the most sophisticated and flexible vehicle booking system available on the market today and it is just one solution from our suite of integrated products and tailor-made solutions developed to maximise operating efficiency throughout the supply chain.

Why not join 37 ports and terminals that are already enjoying reduced congestion, improved productivity and increased bottom-lines by working with 1-Stop?

Connect with John Kornjaca via LinkedIn, or email him on jkornjaca@1-stop.biz to find out how 1-Stop’s VBS can help revolutionise your process.