November 06 2020
Peak Season update
With less than 60 days left in the calendar year, every supply chain day is important.
Here’s an operational update to assist your business planning and decision-making.
Peak season ocean import volumes continue strong, placing extra emphasis on landside logistics performance. Specific challenges:
- Chassis shortage (all types) – due to import cargo extended dwell times/storage strategy.
- Truck operators predicting mid-November surge of activity driven by freetime expiration/removing loads from terminals.
- Truck operators complaining about empty returns/longer turn times at congested terminals in harbor.
- Holidays impact terminal productivity and truck driver availability (Election Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving week, Christmas, New Year’s)
- Peak season duration still uncertain. (Holiday sales, COVID-19 difficult to predict)
Our strategic steps to resolve these peak season challenges:
- Added yard space: Repurposed terminal space – to increase acreage.
- Added port labor – to handle higher cargo volumes and ensure our terminal handling equipment is well-maintained in peak use times.
- Added truck appointment times - Focused on turn times to keep truck drivers productive. (89% of trucker turns completed in less than two hours. Single move turntimes averaging 52 minutes and duals 50 minutes. All of these metrics better than target.)
- Added flexibility into appointment window cutoff restrictions.
- Added gates: Weekend and holiday gates: We opened/planned openings Saturday, October 31, Tuesday, November 3 (Election Day,) Saturday, November 7 and Wednesday, November 11 (Veteran’s Day) at increased cost.
Gate details https://bit.ly/329YmTf (Will consider others if we see trucking community demand.)
- Added MMR railyard labor – to increase working hours.
- Added railcar capacity: Working with CSX to add more rail capacity into our rail facility, MMR. (some progress in October, but CSX network stretched with peak season volumes).
Our asks of you:
- Participating in Saturday gates is key. Helps get import freight out before demurrage kicks in, keeps terminal congestion manageable since every week brings new cargo volumes.
- Work with your warehouses and customers to expedite unloading of containers so that chassis can be freed up/returned to active service.
- Consider transload options for import loads into 53’ domestic containers. Helps you achieve lower CBM cost, faster supply chain velocity, more flexibility in supply chain.
Terminal metrics and upcoming key dates for your insight into our terminal ops:
Terminal utilization level (container yard storage area): 78%
- Vessel waiting time: +/- 2 days (due to weather, vessel schedule issues. As a result, we’re averaging 40 hours of port labor standby the past two weeks)
- Weather – Morning fog over the past two weeks.
- Labor availability: No issues.
- Trucking availability: No issues.
- Trucker appointment system (new): Online, plenty available.
- Truck gate turn times: 52 mins (thanks to new appointment system, reduced surges)
Weekend gates: See details here: https://bit.ly/329YmTf
Upcoming holidays – hours/closures:
- Veteran’s Day, November 11th (ILA workday) – Gates open 0700-1500.
- Thanksgiving Day, November 26 - No truck gates
- Christmas Eve, December 24 - No truck gates
- Christmas Day, December 25 - No truck gates
- New Year’s Eve, December 31 - No truck gates
- New Year’s Day, January 1- No truck gates
Rail: MMR railyard utilization: +90% MMR railyard dwell for import cargo: +/- 4.5 days
Your business is important to us. On behalf of the entire APM Terminals Elizabeth team - thank you for your support during this peak season and extraordinary year.
Should you have any questions on our services or require assistance please contact us – we value your feedback.