As of January 15, 2017 drayage trucks are required to make a reservation at Global Container Terminal in Bayonne for all transactions from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Drivers are required to make an appointment by 3 p.m. the previous day and any drivers without an appointment during this two hour window will be turned away. Ultimately, as users and port operators adjust to the system, the terminal plans to extend the window of time that appointments will be required.
The Truck Management System (TMS) is a milestone accomplishment for the Port Performance Task Force whose mission is to improve operations for the Port of New York and New Jersey. The goal is to improve traffic flow in and out of the terminals and also to have consistent turn times which will allow drivers to better plan their day.
Drivers are pessimistic about the success of the new reservation system. Currently each reservation is an hour window and there is a half hour grace period both before and after. Drivers worry the traffic in the region makes it difficult to arrive at the terminal at the specific appointment window. If a driver misses the appointment window they will have to leave their spot in line and make a new appointment.
The goal of the TMS is to reduce truck turn times and congestion issues. During testing a 38 percent reduction in turn times was experienced during the reservation period compared to the transactions during the balance of the day. Terminal managers are pleased with these initial results but know this may not be a trend and ongoing analysis of the system needs to be done in order to avoid complications.
Ultimately the system is expected to accommodate a single move in 45 minutes and a double move in an hour. The main time saving benefit is that crane operators know what containers will be pulled first thing in the morning so they can have these containers conveniently placed.
The task force also plans to have the other terminals at the Port of New York and New Jersey use the appointment system. The project to raise the Bayonne Bridge is expected to be completed at the end of 2017 which will allow larger ships to stop at all four of the main terminals at the Port of New York and New Jersey. Currently, because large ships cannot fit under the bridge, the only terminal that is accessible is Global Container Terminal. The goal is to have all the main terminals set up with the TMS in order to create efficiencies and prepare the terminals for the increased volume once the bridge is completed.