Port of LA launches Return Signal for trucking to address congestion

Container and chassis congestion at the Port of Los Angeles is so severe that it was about 10 minutes into a press conference Wednesday before Executive Director Gene Seroka got around to announcing an all-time monthly volume record at the port.

“I’ve been advocating for a comprehensive digitization strategy throughout the complex for many years. We need to use real-time data to make smart decisions. We owe that to our stakeholders and customers. We have seen signs of great traction with the Port Optimizer, The Signal and other data points here in LA. We need to be doing this more and deeper with digitized data. That’s why today the Port of Los Angeles, in cooperation with our partners at Wabtec, is launching the Return Signal,” Seroka said.

He announced the free Return Signal platform “is designed to help our trucking community know where and when it can return empty containers throughout the San Pedro Bay complex, thus enhancing the probability of dual transactions. Building on the data and the success of the Optimizer along with The Signal, the Return Signal is built on algorithms that will be updated every five minutes. We’ve made it simple to search, filter and customize data.”

Seroka said the current cargo crunch shows the “need to incentivize increased fluidity at the terminal level. In a few weeks, port staff will present to the Los Angeles Harbor Commission two unique programs for cargo terminals. One is a turn-time incentive that will pay for every minute turn times are reduced. The faster a truck gets in and out of our terminal, the more the terminal will be monetarily rewarded. 

“Additionally, our board will consider a dual-transaction incentive. That means for every trucker that comes to the port, terminals will be monetarily rewarded to make sure the trucks enter the gate with a container and also leave with one,” he said. 

“We also have a blueprint to get the chassis off marine terminals to a…

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