Florida International Terminal (FIT) deployed a new appointment system in a bid to improve turnaround times for reefer drivers.
The appointment system is part of a previously announced expansion at the 41-acre marine terminal in Port Everglades. The expansion saw the terminal add 12 acres from an adjacent site and install 350 reefer plugs to handle growing produce-related cargo out of the terminal.
This will be the first appointment system for a South Florida marine terminal. Appointment systems are one tactic that ports are relying on to tackle congestion and delays that face drayage drivers.
California’s Long Beach Container Terminal, considered one of the more advanced terminals in the U.S., requires that all import, export and empties transactions to have an appointment.
At FIT, truckers picking up import containers will now schedule a pick-up appointment via Advent Intermodal’s eModal platform. Drayage carriers can monitor container availability and hold/fee status through the platform and receive updates as soon as their cargo becomes available for pickup.
Later this year, FIT will expand the system to include pre-advice for export containers and empty returns.
Advent said the rollout of an appointment system at FIT can eliminate up to 30 minutes of driver wait time, particularly for reefer imports. Wait times in the southern Florida market (SONAR: WAIT.MIA) have been rising through the year, coming closer to the national average of 143 minutes (WAIT.USA).
Previously, upon arrival, truckers typically had to wait for a reefer mechanic to inspect reefer temperature, mount a genset and verify fuel levels before the driver could depart. Now, with the appointment system in place, FIT can ensure these services are completed prior to the trucker’s timed arrival window.
“We are pleased to have successfully completed the go-live of eModal’s PreGate appointment solution for import containers and look forward to expanding the system in the coming months,” said Klaus Stadthagen, Vice President and General Manager of Florida International Terminal. “Implementing eModal enables us to deliver even better service to our customers through reduced trucker turn times and more efficient gate operations.”