Traffic Management: Long Beach, New York/New Jersey

Long Beach Considers New Measure to Speed Cargo Flow

To increase velocity of cargo moving out of the Port of Long Beach, officials will consider reducing the amount of time import containers can be stored on docks without charge.

Since 2005, the length of time containers can stay on the dock, called "free time," has been four days. Beyond that, terminals are charged storage fees. With larger vessels calling on the port regularly, there are more containers at terminals, inhibiting the ability of workers to deliver containers quickly and efficiently.

Port officials are proposing changing free time to six shifts, the equivalent of as few as three days, to encourage terminals to more consistently operate at night, moving imports off the docks faster.

"When containers stack up in terminals, it leads to extra handling that makes the process slower for longshore workers, the shippers that depend on them, truckers who move the goods, and ultimately the consumer," said Port of Long Beach CEO Jon Slangerup. "This approach will keep the system more fluid and help avoid congestion."

In the coming weeks, port staff will work with all stakeholders to develop a final plan that will be proposed to the Board of Harbor Commissioners for consideration.

"Truckers have told us their containers are not always accessible because of fewer evening shifts, and terminal operators want to clear space in their yards while giving their customers enough time to get their cargo," said Port of Long Beach Chief Commercial Officer Dr. Noel Hacegaba, Ph.D., PPM®. "Our idea, ‘flexible free time,’ is an innovative use of the tools we have to balance those needs."

New York/New Jersey: Port Authority Launches Agency Operations Center for Enhanced System-Wide Transportation Management

The Port Authority of New York & Jersey on November 12 announced the launch of its new Agency Operations Center (AOC) in Jersey City to enhance traveler safety and help reduce congestion by increasing the efficiency of operations and incident responses across the agency's cross-Hudson transportation network.

Located within the port authority's Ernesto L. Butcher Emergency Operations Center at the Port Authority Technical Center in Jersey City, the AOC is staffed around-the-clock by specialists who use camera feeds, travel- time detectors and other equipment to monitor traffic at all port authority facilities.

The center monitors real-time information on traffic levels at the agency's tunnels, bridges, bus terminals, airports and seaports, as well as ridership on the PATH commuter rail system. When traffic incidents or rail system problems occur, AOC representatives work with staff at the impacted port authority facility and regional partners – including state and city transportation departments and transit authorities -- to redirect travelers and manage congestion.

The AOC utilizes video and traffic monitoring screens and other technology to monitor the flow of passengers and goods at the agency's facilities.

The centralized information and technology enables AOC staff to manage traffic with variable message signs and traffic signals, as well as helping to speed incident response times where possible. This enables the port authority's on-scene staff to focus directly on the more immediate tasks of maintaining and restoring safe conditions, and clearing the traffic obstruction.

Additionally, the AOC will coordinate the port authority's logistical and public alert planning related to events that are expected to impact traffic regionally, such as long-term road construction projects or events like the recent visit by Pope Francis.

Port Authority Chief Security Officer Thomas Belfiore said: "The AOC serves as an important addition to day-to-day operations across our system of roadways and cross-Hudson connections. It enhances our ability to prepare for and respond to emergencies, which we believe will result in safer and timelier travel for commuters."