Port Metro Vancouver to get ‘Smart’ with three-year trucking initiative

by Canadian Shipper

VANCOUVER, B.C. Port Metro Vancouver is set to implement the Smart Fleet trucking strategy, a three-year action plan designed to improve the efficiency and reliability of the container truck sector and reinforce the Port’s ongoing collaboration with supply chain partners, Port officials announced.

“In 2012, container traffic at Port Metro Vancouver reached a new record of 2.7 million TEUs and that number will continue to grow,” said Robin Silvester, president and CEO of Port Metro Vancouver. “Given that a large proportion of container traffic moves to and from the terminals by truck, improvements to reliability and efficiency are vital. Smart Fleet sets out our action plan to ensure we are maximizing existing capacity and improving operational efficiencies as the Gateway grows to service our nation’s trade requirements.”

Key initiatives from the Smart Fleet plan include:
• The expanded use of GPS communications to track supply chain excellence in 2013;
• Jointly-funded research (from the Port, the industry and the government, via the Clean Transportation Initiative) to identify technology-based solutions to improve sustainability;
• The Container Drayage Leadership Team (CDLT) providing a forum for terminal operators and industry leaders to work openly to solve drayage challenges;
• A Container Vessel On-time Incentive Program, introduced by Port Metro Vancouver, to encourage container vessel operators to arrive on schedule and thereby contribute to overall supply chain consistency;
• A Truck Licensing System (TLS) review designed to enhance performance, safety and environmental standards; and
• Continued container capacity improvement projects with the Deltaport Terminal, Road and Rail Improvement Project and the South Shore Corridor Project.

Container traffic through Canada’s Pacific Gateway is expected to double over the next 10 to 15 years and nearly triple by 2030. Port officials say this projected increase in Canadian international trade necessitated planning now to meet future demand.

“Our government is investing in the Smart Fleet initiative in order to promote job creation, economic growth and long-term prosperity for all Canadians,” said Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, on behalf of Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. “The expanded use of GPS technology will improve supply chain efficiency and help Canadian exports grow in dynamic and fast-growing markets overseas. By providing accurate, real-time traffic and routing information, this technology will reduce congestion around the port and ensure Canada’s world-class exports get to where they are in demand all over the world.”

Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Mary Polak says the government will be investing $300,000 towards installing 700 GPS units in trucks calling at the port. “Data collected from these GPS units will provide valuable information to improve truck routing and improve terminal operations, helping our trucking sector improve its competitiveness while also reducing greenhouse emissions and making the port greener and more efficient,” she said.

“On behalf of Port Metro Vancouver, I would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the container truck sector as we have worked together to shape our new strategy,” said Peter Xotta, vice-president of planning and operations at Port Metro Vancouver. “Smart Fleet is the result of a year-long collaboration aimed at demonstrating this Gateway is a world leader in supply chain excellence. Change is underway and we are seeing better outcomes for customers, container terminals and port service providers. We look forward to sharing more detail about each of the program areas in the coming months.”

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