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  March 6th, 2018 | Written by

Port Truck Reservation System Launches at Norfolk International Terminals

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  • Goal of Port of Virginia truck reservation system is to create consistency and efficiency in delivery of service.
  • VPA CEO: “This is a twenty-first century tool.”
  • Reservation system holds benefits for truckers, shippers, and logistics companies.

Following more than two years of collaborative development with local truckers, The Port of Virginia launched its trucker reservation system (TRS) last week. The event marks the beginning of an effort to manage the flow of truck volume at the port.

The port announced phased roll-out of TRS. In this initial phase, motor carriers calling Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m., Monday through Friday, must have a reservation. Mandatory reservations will also be required between 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. on Saturday. Additional mandatory hours are planned as the TRS gains a firm footing in the trucking community.

“This is a twenty-first century tool that holds benefits for motor carriers, cargo owners, logistics companies and our terminal operations team,” said John F. Reinhart, the CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “This system allows us to manage flow at the gates, it creates efficiency for our terminal operations teams and for drivers, it provides greater visibility to cargo owners and it is a planning tool for us and everyone that moves their cargo by truck.”

To register and create a reservation, motor carriers must go to the port’s website for all trucking-related information, and follow the steps. The system will migrate to Virginia International Gateway (VIG) this summer.

“Container volumes at the Port of Virginia are growing and it’s a trend that will continue. So as we begin to bring more capacity online, we must ensure flow at our gates throughout the entire day,” Reinhart said. “Rush hour is not efficient, but spreading out the truck volume across the day is, and we’ve developed an innovative, fair, easy and useful way of accomplishing that.”

By 2020, the annual container throughput capacity at NIT will have increased by 46 percent, or 400,000 containers. The added capacity comes as the result of a $375 million expansion of the terminal’s south berth, where 60 new rail-mounted gantry cranes are the centerpieces of a completely renovated container handling operation. The first of 30 new container stacks at south NIT is scheduled to go into service in September.

“Creating consistency and efficiency in our delivery of service from hour-to-hour is the goal,” Reinhart said. “We must prepare now for what is to come.”

Among other rules applicable to TRS, trucks arriving during mandatory hours without reservations will be turned away and will not be permitted to queue on terminal property. No truck queueing will be permitted prior to 4:30 a.m. Monday – Friday and 6:30 a.m. on Saturday. Reservations are made within a one-hour block and with a 30-minute grace period on either side. Drivers arriving early or late for confirmed reservations will be turned away.