Trucking groups in California are petitioning officials at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach to develop a single, unified truck appointment system for the entire San Pedro Bay complex.
Such a system would lower costs and boost efficiency for drayage providers and the 12 container terminals, the California Trucking Association and the Harbor Trucking Association said in the Jan. 25 letter to Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka and Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero.
“Currently, motor carriers are forced to work between several different platforms to secure appointments,” HTA CEO Matt Schrap and CTA CEO Eric Sauer wrote. “A single system will drive down costs and increase productivity as motor carriers will no longer expend resources and time navigating as many as seven unique appointment systems.”
The trucking associations told the ports’ executives they were encouraged by the Port of Long Beach’s Supply Chain Information Highway and recent statements by Seroka in support of unifying truck appointments under a single system in the future.
“These efforts by both Ports to bolster productivity at the complex [have] not gone unnoticed by the motor carrier community,” their letter said.
A successful unified truck appointments system would require all terminals in the ports to share data and agree on common and consistent business practices, the associations said. But any such program wouldn’t necessarily need to replace the systems used by the terminals today.
“Any single system must interact and function with existing appointment platforms,” they said. “Very possibly much of the underlying architecture for a single system may already exist across many software platforms that are currently at work in POLA/POLB marine terminals.”
The larger of the two San Pedro Bay ports is in favor of such a program. Although Seroka was traveling and unavailable for an interview this week, he has been advocating for a single-appointment system for years, according to port spokesman Phillip Sanfield.
“We support the concept in general,” Sanfield said in an email.
Port of Long Beach officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.