Friday, June 20, 2014

Canadian Government to Fund Port Trucking Efficiency Measures

By Mark Edward Nero

Canadian Transportation Minister Lisa Raitt said June 12 that the Government of Canada is contributing $3 million to reduce trucker wait times by using new technologies to better link operations across Port Metro Vancouver’s four terminals.

“This federal funding demonstrates this government’s ongoing commitment to maintain long-term stability at Port Metro Vancouver,” Raitt said. “This project, and all the measures we’ve taken ... (are) helping to ensure the reliability of Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway.”

The government’s Common Data Interface (CDI) project is expected to help to better coordinate and schedule container truck movements by providing the technological capabilities to, among other things, collect data on gate and terminal activities, which would help to coordinate multi-shift operations.

The CDI project will also develop an enhanced common reservation system (i.e. a centralized appointment scheduler for container trucks), which is expected to reduce wait times and enhance efficiency of truck movements; and it will measure operational performance and enforcement through the collection of location data, via GPS technology, to help the port develop and enforce appropriate standards.

The project, which costs about $6 million, will receive $3 million over two years under Transport Canada’s Clean Transportation Initiative on Port-Related Trucking. The port ‘s contributing the other half.

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

The agreement, which brought about the end of a 28-day strike at the port by drayage truck drivers, resulted 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.