LOGISTICS: More Flexible Truck Booking Procedure for Durban RoRo
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Says Zeph Ndlovu, Terminal Executive, Durban RoRo and Maydon Wharf Terminal: “Based on our engagement with industry via the new transporters’ forum meetings, TPT and the management of the Durban RoRo Terminal have recognised the need for a more innovative approach to managing the fluidity of the terminal. The long dwell times and slow evacuation of cargo led to the need to revise the previous system. With joint collaboration between the terminal and HCA the new hybrid booking system is believed to overcome some of the challenges associated with the previous system.”
Currently truckers are expected to comply with pre-booked arrival timeslots stipulated by TPT based on physical capacity and equipment availability.
This was becoming problematic for a host of reasons – transporters were allocated widely varying time slots or spent hours queuing while they awaited their slot; the system was badly affected by late arrivals, no-shows or equipment downtime; and administration delays or the long dwell time of bulky project cargo often slowed down the whole process.
Under the new system, to be piloted over a trial period from 20 February 2012 until the end of March 2012, transporters arriving at the terminal during the daytime period between 06h00 and 22h00 will be served on a more flexible ‘first come first served’ basis.
However during the underutilised night shift (22h00 to 06h00), weekends and public holidays, the pre-booked timeslot system will still apply.
The decision is the result of a new transporters’ forum started in January between TPT and the Harbour Carriers Association and SAAFF. The forum aims to find a common solution to benefit the port and the road freight association. TPT presented its new proposal at a follow up meeting on 9 February. This was accepted by all present.
Durban RoRo - Process and Details of Open Booking:
An open booking “first come first served” system will be applied from 06h00 to 22h00, excluding weekends and public holidays.
On arrival trucks will be allocated a position number, via an entry register. The number will be sequentially prefixed with a date stamp.
The trucks will then be staged at the designated area and called out sequentially by D-local via the security guard on duty, and then directed to areas where they are loading out.
Continuous communication between the truck staging area and operations team will minimise equipment idle time.
The terminal reserves the right to call in trucks from the queue based on equipment availability.
The staging area can accommodate a maximum of 20 trucks at a time and the average turnaround time is 45 minutes.
Durban RoRo - Process and Details of Night Shift, Weekends and Public Holidays:
The current Durban Roro pre-booking system will be used for the 22h00 to 06h00 shift, weekends and public holidays.
Timeslots will be allocated to transporters and equipment will be allocated accordingly.
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