To bring together representatives of shipping lines, marine terminals, engineering companies, port authorities, importers and exporters, motor carriers and labor unions to identify best practices and options to improve productivity at container terminals that, at times, have become a bottleneck in the North American supply chain.
THEME: IMPROVING PORT PERFORMANCE AMID A SEA OF DISRUPTION
Port productivity is being challenged like never before. The June 2016 opening of an expanded Panama Canal sent an armada of 10,000-TEU ships to East Coast ports. This summer’s completion of a project to raise the Bayonne Bridge in New York-New Jersey is expected to unleash fleets of vessels capable of carrying up to 14,000-TEU to the East Coast. Although mega-ships of this size have been calling at West Coast ports for several years, ultra-large ships of 18,000-TEU capacity already have been tested In Los Angeles-Long Beach, Oakland, and Seattle-Tacoma. Overlaying the arrival of the big ships was the launching of the three powerful vessel-sharing alliances on April 1. The alliances, and the beneficial cargo owners they serve, are cutting ports no slack. Ports and terminals that handle the mega-ships efficiently will be the winners, and those that fall short of world-class performance will lose out. Technology that enhances cargo visibility is already a key component in the arsenal of the winners. Process improvements including extended gate hours, trucker appointment systems, and chassis pools that raise the level of equipment availability are quickly becoming standard operating procedure. Automation of marine terminals is proceeding in a few key gateways, but for the majority of ports and terminals, a less-costly but nevertheless efficient semi-automated environment is emerging.
Key to port performance, of course, is improving the productivity of longshore labor and fostering better labor-management relations. That’s the goal of the efforts of the longshore unions and employer organizations on both coasts as they explore the bold concept of extending the waterfront contracts to ensure labor peace for the next five years. Time is of the essence. Some 55 vessels with capacities ranging from 18,000 to 22,000 TEU are scheduled for delivery into the Asia-Europe trade over the next two years. These ultra-large container ships will cascade existing vessels up to 14,000 TEU into the North American trade. The development of world-class infrastructure, technology and cargo-handling processes is no longer an option. It’s also necessary for the survival of North American ports. With more than 10 sessions and 30-plus thought leaders, the JOC Port Performance North America Conference will take a deep dive into the critical challenges, opportunities, and best practices driving cargo flow through ports and terminals.
- Extended Gates -What’s the best model for your port?
- Trucker Appointments - A critical review of the new appointment system at the Port of Los Angeles.
- Cargo Visibility - What types of technology is available to track and trace after containers are discharged from a vessel? How does the technology work, and what are the benefits of products already in use at some marine terminals?
- Chassis Dislocation - The hotspots and emerging solutions.
- The Longshore Labor Landscape - Can cargo interests finally take comfort in long-term labor peace on the US West and East coasts? How can longshore labor assist in improving port performance?
- Shipper-Terminal Relationships - BCOs increasingly are dealing directly with terminal management to deal with congestion, detention and demurrage issues, new alliances, and trucker appointment systems to shepherd their cargoes through ports and onto destination.