VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Vancouver Port Authority is throwing its support behind the report issued by the task force appointed to examine issues related to the B.C. container hauler strike earlier this summer.
Jim Cox, the port’s vice president responsible for infrastructure development said the port authority will work with government and industry stakeholders to ensure their successful implementation of the report’s recommendations and is in fact well underway with implementing a number of the operational recommendations.
Cox did caution, however, that the permanent regulation of rates “may not be in the best long-term interests of a competitive gateway” but conceded it may be “a necessary step that will bring stability to the industry until a sustainable market-based solution is possible.”
“The successful implementation of extended operating hours, mandatory reservations, the increased use of technology and other efficiencies will benefit truckers and may eventually eliminate the need for regulation of rates,” Cox said.
“The port has already been working on a pilot program for extending hours of operation at truck gates. Extended hours will increase capacity and efficiency by reducing congestion at terminals and on the region’s roads, making better use of existing transportation infrastructure, reducing air emissions and enabling truckers to move a greater number of containers in a given shift.”
The port also supports the recommendation for the establishment of a mandatory reservations system, noting that lack of participation in the current voluntary system is responsible for a number of congestion-related problems.
Another Task Force recommendation that the port is already implementing is a monitoring program of truck waiting times outside of terminal gates. As part of the port’s commitment to container truck drivers to monitor and reduce wait times inside and outside port access gates, effective November 9, the VPA implemented a container truck monitoring program to measure container truck wait times on port roadways.
The VPA is also requiring all non-container truck traffic to use the inside lanes to access the port. Container truckers are now required to swipe their Port PASS ID card to gain access to and exit south shore port roadway gates, the VPA announced. Container truck drivers will only use the outside lanes of the south shore entry and exit points.
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