• ITVI.USA
    15,496.720
    85.590
    0.6%
  • OTLT.USA
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    0.003
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    0.000
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  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
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  • WAIT.USA
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    -1.000
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  • ITVI.USA
    15,496.720
    85.590
    0.6%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.743
    0.003
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  • OTRI.USA
    21.110
    0.000
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  • OTVI.USA
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    90.520
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  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
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    0.000
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  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.140
    0.190
    6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.590
    0.150
    10.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.330
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
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    0.020
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
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  • WAIT.USA
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American ShipperWarehouse

eModal developing “virtual container yard” for New York-New Jersey

eModal developing “virtual container yard” for New York-New Jersey

eModal developing “virtual container yard” for New York-New Jersey

A “virtual container yard” that will allow trucking companies to pick up or transfer empty containers and chassis at off-dock facilities such as an importer’s warehouse or trucking terminal is expected to be operational in the New York region by June or July.

   John Cushing, president of eModal, the Irvine, Calif.-based firm developing the virtual container yard for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said there has been strong interest in the product from steamship lines operating in the port.

   He expects to announce the names of at least four, and perhaps a half-dozen participants within three weeks. Interest in the product, which eModal calls Box Trade, seems to be even keener in New York than in Long Beach where 'K' Line and another not-yet identified port have been using the product in a “start-up” mode for a couple of months.

   Rather than driving to a marine terminal to get an empty container and bringing it to an exporter’s facility to be stuffed, a user of Box Trade will be able to make an inquiry about empty containers from a particular carrier that are located within a geographic radius such as five, 10 or 15 miles. The system will then match the request with that of a trucking company seeking to return an empty box to the same carrier.

   The trucking company will then be able to fetch an empty box at a nearby facility rather than driving to the port for an empty, the other company will save the cost of a trip to return a box to the port. The reach of the virtual container yard could be quite wide, Cushing said — even carriers seeking to return or pick up equipment in Detroit could use it.

   Such “street turns,” Cushing said, could have many benefits by reducing unnecessary truck trips to the port by truckers to drop off or pick up empty containers. That can help reduce congestion at terminals, roadways, with concomitant benefits by reducing fuel use and pollution.

   Truckers can increase the number of trips they can make, and shipping companies should be able to increase the number of turns a piece of equipment such as a container or chassis can make over the course of a year.

   Cushing said that in addition to the steamship companies, the virtual container yard has wide support among trucking companies, many of whom are users of port community systems that eModal has developed for ports such as New York-New Jersey; Los Angeles-Long Beach and Oakland, Calif.; Baltimore; Norfolk, Va.; Charleston, S.C.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Seattle and Tacoma, Wash.

   These systems, for example, allow a trucker to know if cargo is ready for pickup or needs to be inspected by Customs, or when free time ends on equipment and demurrage charges begin.

   In addition to the port authority, the program is also being supported by groups such as Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers, the I-95 Corridor Coalition, and the departments of transportation in New York and New Jersey.

   “We would like to see a program like this succeed,” said Richard Larrabee, director of the port department of the port authority. “When you look at the amount of extra truck miles that have to be driven in order to move empty containers around, we think it’s our obligation to give it a try to reduce it.”

   Peter Zanatal, general manager in the port department, said the program could be an element in trying to reduce congestion and increasing capacity in the port.

   “Someone once said if you pick up enough nickels on the street in the end you have a dollar — this is one of the nickels that we are looking at to improve the trucking system in the port,” he said.

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