‘Easter Sunday syndrome’ a warehousing opportunity for ports

Developing capacity for peak demand, are putting pressure on existing warehousing port facilities.

According to a recent Jones Lang LaSalle report on warehousing development in the ports and logistics sector, developers wary of “building the church for Easter Sunday” i.e. developing capacity for peak demand, are putting pressure on existing warehousing facilities.

Growing and ambitious ports are seeing an opportunity in this shortage of warehousing and logistics space in key logistics markets like the US. For the agile port, it’s an opportunity to leverage your own warehousing facilities more effectively for your client base and to attract new shippers.

Globally, many ports are adding or beginning to utilize huge warehousing zones, allowing greater flexibility. However, as your warehouse begins to expand, it can be harder to manage the complexities that this brings such as greater physical space, more staff and larger cargo to manage and store.

Whether it’s large or small scale cargo storage that you are establishing at your port, the opportunities and risks are the same. Congestion and inefficiencies are huge risks of warehousing; the need to streamline operations for efficiency becomes essential.

By ensuring that you have highly secure, responsive, and flexible systems in place, you are working to mitigate the associated risks with a warehousing addition to your port. Being able to have complete oversight of your warehouse, down to a shelving level can be a great asset to your business and even increase your bottom line through increased productivity.

Read more about how your terminal can improve the management of its warehousing facilities in our Warehousing fact sheet.

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Is truck congestion at your port driving everyone crazy?

For the port terminal focused on improving its competitiveness with shippers, automating vehicle appointments also offers a marketing opportunity.

Addressing this problem can become a marketing tool for the growing and ambitious port.

The transportation industry has been watching with interest, the port congestion situation along the USA’s west coast in recent months. Los Angeles and Long Beach terminal operators have been plagued with delays, causing immense frustration to their shipping customers.

According to a survey that trade magazine Journal of Commerce (JOC) released last month, 65% of 138 shippers they interviewed were considering permanently diverting cargo to ports outside the west coast area because of the delays.

Causes of the congestion are complex and interlinked, with the JOC identifying 12 major causes including cargo volume increases and labor relations issues. A significant component has also been truck queues at gates.

A survey conducted at west coast terminals showed that in October 2014 over a third of truck turns (queuing, delivering and leaving) were over two hours, double the accepted maximum for efficient delivery of cargo.

Like any infrastructure, port terminals are built to handle a level of peak congestion. Most of the time they can cope easily with volume, but at the peak things get challenging, including managing truck traffic. According to industry reports, congestion starts to emerge when a port is operating at 80% of capacity.

Truck congestion is a lever most ports can pull to reduce pressure on their infrastructure during peak times. Automation can help allocate truck visits more efficiently, improving carrier experience and also reducing local impacts like excessive noise or carbon emissions.

For the port terminal focused on improving its competitiveness with shippers, automating vehicle appointments also offers a marketing opportunity. Freight transport providers are increasingly focused on gaining market share not by cutting prices, but by delivering more value to their customers for the same cost. Ports that can reach down the supply chain and help make freight flow more efficiently between transport modes offer a real value proposition to shippers.

Read more about how your terminal can manage the flow of vehicles through your gate operations in our Vehicle Booking System fact sheet.