Simplified gate system boosts throughput

Industry Database

At the start of the year, the Port of Charleston took the bold step of outsourcing its gate management functions to better serve its users – and was immediately rewarded with a 10% boost in capacity.

On the 18th January, gate management responsibilities passed to Charleston Gate LLC, a company set up by local stevedoring companies under contract to South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA). Since then, all trucks checking in and out at the port’s three container terminals have been handled by the new company.

Previously, gates were either operated by ocean carriers in partnership with their local stevedore, or as common user facilities operated by the port authority.

Byron Miller, the SCSPA's director of Marketing, Public Relations and Planning, explains that the previous system “created confusion and resulted in a lack of productivity, because there were different sets of operating hours, different computer systems and so on. It was less effective management overall.”

Under the new simplified system all terminal processes have been consolidated, with common hours of operations, cargo cut offs, holidays and procedures now in place.

The introduction of the new gate company coincided with the introduction of a new $17.3m terminal operating system: Navis SPARCS N4, which it is hoped will result in more accurate information being obtained.

Mr Miller stresses that the proprietary yard management system originally developed by Charleston had functioned very well and gate transactions had been relatively smooth. The primary driving force behind introducing a new TOS was therefore the change of gate process and not the gate system itself.

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