Logistics Brief



Port Authority Attempts to Enhance Productivity

April 1, 2016

By Paru Shah and Alisha Jernack

The task force issued a report on June 24, 2014, listing 23 recommendations which the PPTF prioritized into three tiers according to impact on long-term efficiency and service reliability as well as feasibility of implementation.

In late 2013, the Port Authority created the Port Performance Task Force (PPTF) to

  • Provide a framework for constituents in the Port of NY and NJ (Port) to discuss areas of common interest
  • Identify challenges to port efficiency and service reliability
  • Recommend potential solutions and Key Performance Indicators in order to maintain the Port of NY and NJ’s position as a preeminent port of the United States

Following the publication of the PPTF Final Report, the Council on Port Performance (CPP) was formed to provide oversight on the implementation of programs and initiatives that will improve efficiency and service reliability in the Port.

Four implementation teams: the Equipment Implementation Team, Rail Implementation Team, Gate Operations Team and Customer Care Implementation Team; were established to address specific concerns related to productivity and performance.

Chassis Management was one of the top priorities. Another important concern was providing information on a timely basis and at a central location where the trucking/shipping community could go to daily, which would lead to an increase in productivity and efficiency.

Terminal Information Portal System (TIPS)

As business professionals, we all know the importance of being proactive rather than reactive. Prior to putting this system in place, users had to navigate independent interface systems for each of the six port terminals. Users were going to the port and had to react to trouble tickets or were turned away completely.

Users are now able to utilize this central information system to plan a more efficient day through access to information on container availability, export booking and vessel schedules, all ahead of time.

Users may even opt to receive specific updates relating to status changes, hold updates, last free day and balances directly to their email accounts, allowing them to access this material on their smartphones or other electronic devices, helping them to act quickly and effectively.

We are optimistic that TIPS will enhance not only port efficiency, but reliability of information. We are also confident that this will ultimately lead to a better working day for our clients as it leads to faster turnaround time and greater profits.

This will not only help to raise bottom lines for trucking and logistics firms, it will assist the Port as a whole, in its role as an integral part of supply chain management.

With implementation of TIPS, we expect to see companies using their best resources, their employees, to the best of their abilities. Not exploiting such a system means critical damage to cash flows moving forward.

We see this system as a way to augment better logistics planning and information sharing. For more information regarding TIPS, see www.porttruckpass.com or www.panynj. gov/port.

“We are optimistic that TIPS will enhance not only port efficiency, but reliability of information.”

Chassis Management System

Chassis Management was considered one of the most critical concerns for the Port because, while the Port is adequately supplied with chassis for average annual demand, there are chassis supply shortages during peak times when ships or trains enter into the port and during pre-shipping times.

Also, with no interchange between competing chassis pools, truckers often had to switch chassis between pickups or deliveries of different carriers’ containers.

These extra trips worsen congestion at terminal gates and cause equipment imbalances that leave terminals short of chassis. Additionally, chassis upgrades have been too slow and maintenance and repair have lagged.

Efficient chassis provisioning is critical to the overall competitiveness of the Port, and it is essential that a system to improve chassis management be implemented.

This Equipment Implementation Team represents key market stakeholders – New York Shipping Association (NYSA), Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Motor Carriers, steamship lines, labor, Marine Terminal Operators & Intermodal Equipment Providers (IEPs). Following are some of the initial steps taken:

  • Pool structures evaluated and Market Pool (Co-Op) selected and designed to serve a broad number of customers for multiple contributing IEPs
  • The pool operates with one pool manager and one set of operating rules
  • Multiple IEPs may contribute to the fleet, and chassis are “gray” (as defined below) across all locations in the pool
  • Pool Operating Agreement was developed
  • A seamless billing systems will be developed for the users of chassis, while behind the scenes the chassis providers will share in the revenues and profits.

The team has selected the market pool model as the best option for efficient chassis provisioning in the Port of New York and New Jersey. This type of gray chassis pool can best be defined as various chassis providers contributing their chassis into one large fleet in the Port. All chassis would have the same mark and the pool would be managed at arm’s length by a third party under contract to a Pool Board.

The Pool Board would be made up of representatives from each of the chassis contributors and others representing key supply chain stakeholders in the port. Users would have access by establishing a commercial contract with an individual chassis contributor.

The commercial contract is not part of the market pool’s oversight or management, but a market based competitive activity. Chassis contributors may offer unique products and services within private pools, but this would be outside of the market pool at noncommon locations in the New York/New Jersey region.

This would allow for chassis contributors to compete for users on a variety of service dimensions while at the same time the market pool offers operational efficiencies with full interoperability at all the terminals throughout the port. This free interchange of equipment will be invaluable for truckers and improve port efficiency.

Creating a chassis management system is not without challenges – there have been significant delays in launching the market pool. Primary delay factors include determining the pool structure, who will manage it, and how to preserve competition.

Other factors causing delays are union jurisdiction over chassis management and assurances that chassis providers can’t use the pool to manipulate supply and prices. The pool organizers are working to address these issues and expect to launch the market pool system in 2016.


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