Successful year for port’s efficient new system

Published 9:49 pm Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Port of Virginia marked the one-year anniversary of its Truck Reservation System on Wednesday, and the efficiency driven by this technology is evident in the reduction in turn times for motor carriers at the port’s two main container terminals, according to John Reinhart, chief executive officer and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority.

According to the press release, 292,588 reservations have been completed since March 1, 2018. That’s an average of 567 reservations completed per day at Norfolk International Terminals, resulting in a 16-percent reduction in term times.

At Virginia International Gateway there were an average of 765 reservations completed daily, resulting in a 32-percent reduction.


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“This is a 21st-century tool designed to drive efficiency and the numbers prove it,” Reinhart stated in the press release. “Drivers that are taking advantage of this technology are getting in and out of our terminals quicker than ever before.”

The system was launched in March 2018 at NIT and in June 2018 at VIG after more than two years of collaborative development with the local motor carrier community.

There were only a few mandatory hours per day, per terminal in the early days of the system, according to the press release. Now the system is a vital component of daily port operations and is utilized from the time the terminals open in the morning — 5 a.m. at NIT and 3 a.m. at VIG — to 1 p.m.

“Rush-hour is not an option,” Reinhart stated. ‘Spreading out the truck volume across the day is the only way to achieve efficiency, and we’ve developed an innovative, fair, easy and useful means of accomplishing that.”

The system is critically important for managing trucks moving to and from NIT and VIG, terminals where the port is investing a combined $700 million to expand capacity.

The port is doubling VIG’s annual throughput capacity to 1.2 million container lifts, and capacity at NIT is being expanded by 46 percent, or 400,000 annual lifts, according to the press release.

Work at VIG is nearly complete. The 13 new stacks that are served by 26 new rail-mounted gantry cranes are fully operational, as are four new lanes at the gate for motor carriers. With the stack-yard work complete and the RMGs fully operational, the process of refurbishing VIG’s original RMGs is under way.

The final pieces are the last phase of the rail yard expansion and bringing four new ship-to-shore cranes into service. All this work will be finished in June, according to the press release.

The work at NIT is also well under way, with 12 new stacks that went into service in February and that are served by 24 RMGs. The 18 additional stacks will be completed in phases through late 2020.