How to Improve Container Flow Through Terminals
If the pandemic experience taught us anything about supply chains, it's the urgency of maintaining container flow through ports and terminals. The logic is simple: Too many containers — loaded or empty — sitting on terminal grounds slows productivity at the berth and the gate. As data clearly showed, lower productivity results in ships remaining at berth for longer, forcing incoming ships — and all of their cargo — to wait at anchor. Transit times, lead times, and inventory-carrying costs all increase as a direct result, while shippers' revenue and responsiveness to customer demands go down. Many factors work against flow: empties not being removed quickly, excessive free time within service contracts, and shippers and truckers' slow transition to 24/7 operations, to mention but a few. Unprecedented pressure obviously was placed on the system beginning in late 2020, but future shocks are a certainty, and lessons need to be learned. This session will address what steps need to be taken to ensure consistent flow going forward.