In order to better accommodate motor carriers, the port will not change the ERD if within seven days of the vessel’s estimated time of arrival. This allows for accurate, real-time schedules and updated ERDs without negatively impacting current and next-day operations.
If the vessel’s estimated time of arrival changes before the seven-day window, the port will make the necessary adjustments to the ERD. In order to accommodate long-haul motor carriers, the port will allow one additional day grace period before the ERD. This policy becomes effective Monday, May 4, 2015.
The former ERD policy was set to seven days and changed in real-time whenever a vessel’s estimated time of arrival changed, but this policy created several unintended consequences to motor carriers. The most significant impact was to those motor carriers already en route to the terminal, or planning to come the next day, that were turned away for circumstances beyond their control.
As an immediate fix, automatic updates of the ERD were frozen and left as set based off the original ETA of the vessel. This too, created problems because vessel schedules are created far in advance and estimated times or arrival for vessels change often causing the ERDs to be inaccurate.
This new policy will provide greater flexibility for planning and is aimed at improving ERD accuracy relative to the estimated time of arrival for vessels. Additional benefits include reducing congestion and improving throughput of motor carriers.
Frequently Asked Questions
The below are questions, answers and hypothetical examples to help better understand this policy change.
Q: Will the ERD change if the vessel schedule slips while in the original seven-day ERD period?
A: The ERD only changes if the vessel schedule slips outside of the original seven-day period. The port will provide a one-day grace period to long-haul drivers.
Example 1: If today is May 1 and the vessel is scheduled for May 8, the ERD would be May 1 (seven days prior). If the vessel schedule slips on May 2, the ERD remains May 1. The ERD does not advance one day to May 2 because we were within the seven-day window when the vessel schedule slipped.
Example 2 (grace period): If today’s date is May 1 and the vessel schedule slips from May 8 to May 9, the terminal will allow long-haul motor carriers to deliver containers on May 1 in order to protect those drivers that have set their schedules for the following day.
Q: When would the ERD on the vessel schedule change?
A: The ERD changes when the vessel schedule slips before the seven-day period.
Example 1: If today’s date is May 1 and the vessel is scheduled for May 8, the ERD will be May 1 (seven days prior). If on April 25 the vessel schedule slips to May 9, the ERD would advance by one day to May 2 (outside the seven-day period).
Q: Is the operations team prepared to handle this change?
A: Yes. We estimate it will take 10 days to incorporate the necessary changes to our terminal operating system. In the interim, we will be able to provide manual overrides to the system at the gate to ensure that the needs of the motor carriers most affected by this change are met.