Find below a resolution concerning the VPA-POV Appointment System that is being currently being formulated for functionality through the efforts of the Port of Virginia and some representatives from the trucking community. Because it was announced this past Tuesday at VMA-POV Port Productivity Summit that there is a planned implementation of a “soft start” process within the next month the TMTA BoD felt that we needed to voice a concern on points that have not been addressed/communicated to the industry.
I wanted to let you know the action taken was by unanimous vote by the Board members, and the points of concern were pulled together and drafted for submission to the VPA through the efforts of the Board on behalf of the entire Motor Carrier community.

June 23, 2015

To: Mr. John G. Miliken- Chairman, Virginia Port Authority
Mr. Alan A. Diamonstein, Chair, VPA Board’s Growth & Operations Committee

Subject: Implementation of a Port of Virginia Container Terminal Appointment System

Congestion on the port container facilities has negatively impacted Virginia’s port stakeholders, in excess of three years. The Tidewater Motor Truck Association (TMTA) Directors are pleased that the Virginia Port Authority continues to address and improve truck velocity on its container terminals, enticing global trade to transact their business in Virginia.
We firmly agree that a container terminal truck appointment system, in any form, be withheld until such time that the Port of Virginia may consistently sustain truck processing levels at 60 – 70 minutes or less. Specifically, truck processing comprises the time, which a driver arrives at the queue into the terminal, until the period that the truck physically departs the final terminal checkpoint.

Providing that the Port of Virginia may consistently provide sustained truck turn times of 60-70 minutes, for at least a few months, we further would request that the following particulars of the appointment system be clarified for the motor carrier community and other port stakeholders. Through understanding of this process the port and its stakeholders may embrace a practical and sustainable usage of a port-wide appointment system.

• The container terminal operator, understanding that scheduling appointments requires additional labor in the trucking company organization, should clearly detail its reasoning for the implementation of an appointment system. Furthermore, the terminal operator should disclose the immediate benefit to the participating truck companies utilizing an appointment system.

• Provide precise communication of the overall rules governing the actions and behavior of all those parties participating in the terminal appointment system.

• Detail the mechanism, which will ensure one trucking company may not hold an advantage over another company, while participating in this terminal appointment system. Specifically, is there a limit calculating the maximum amount of appointments a single company secure during prime hours?

• Communicate a clear understanding of the penalties, which will be imposed on the motor carrier, the terminal operator or other stakeholders participating in an appointment system.

• Identify those locations designated for the safe staging of trucks awaiting entry to the container facility.

• Disclose how the appointment system will adapt to changing days and hours of operations at the facilities.

• Explain by facility, day of the week and each hour, the amount of appointments which will be issued to the motor carrier community.

• Disclose a concrete process to avoid abuse of appointments by individual trucking companies, whether large or small.

• Disclose the logic of allocation of appointments to individual trucking companies, whether large or small.

• Publish a concrete contingency plan how the terminal operator will operate during computer system outages.

The Board of Directors of the TMTA, representing the vast majority of drayage carriers servicing the Virginia container facilities, are reasonably obligated to oppose the implementation of an appointment system, in any form, until the above mention points are disclosed to the satisfaction of its members.

In closing, we remain at the disposal of the Port of Virginia Board of Commissioners.


Frank Borum
President, Tidewater Motor Truck Association

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