Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Port Metro Vancouver Expediting Truck GPS Program

By Mark Edward Nero

Port Metro Vancouver and the governments of Canada and British Columbia on May 2 announced joint funding of $1.71 million for an expedited initiative to outfit the remainder of the port’s container truck fleet with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.

With the completion of the initiative, Port Metro Vancouver says it will be the only port in North America to have a full truck fleet using GPS-monitoring. The GPS technology is expected to provide a complete, accurate and real-time base of data enabling insight to routing and operational information to help manage congestion and wait times.

Under an existing GPS program, about half the trucks hauling goods to and from the port were outfitted with GPS transponder units between 2012 and 2013. The remaining trucks are to be outfitted with GPS units as part of the expedited initiative, which is expected to be completed by this July.

The initiative is the result of a March 26 agreement between the governments of Canada and British Columbia and Port Metro Vancouver reached agreement with members of the United Truckers Association and labor union Unifor.

The agreement resulted in the end of a 28-day strike at the port by drayage truck drivers. The expedited implementation of Port Metro Vancouver’s GPS Program represents one point in a 15-point joint action plan agreed to by both sides that the port says will provide a framework for long-term stability in the container trucking industry.

The current round of funding is being split amongst three contributors, with Transport Canada providing $ 855,000, Port Metro Vancouver $ 595,000, and the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure providing $ 260,000. This brings the total cost of the program, which started in 2013, to over $2.5 million.