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Drayage Data and Information Sources 17 Marine terminal operating systems, Webcam terminal data, Drayage companies, State or local departments of transportation, Surveys, and Special studies. Data alone do not tell the whole story. As noted, discussions with drayage firms and terminal operators also can suggest bottlenecks and sources of delay. Once bottlenecks have been identified and delays quantified through data analysis, the insights of drayage firms and terminal operators are crucial in discerning cause-and-effect relationships and potential solutions. Drayage firms often are aware of best practices at other terminals or ports, and are in a position to compare operations and outcomes. In NCFRP Project 14, the study team benefited greatly from contacts with terminals and drayage firms, site visits, and opportunities to observe daily operations. Understanding the priorities of drayage drivers is particularly important when assessing the potential effectiveness of policies aimed at improving dray efficiency, such as extended gate hours. Also, drivers are motivated differently depending on their compensation method. Drivers who are paid per load have a different motivation than drivers who are paid by the hour. Marine Terminal Information Systems Every marine container terminal utilizes a terminal operating system (TOS) to help it manage and keep track of the flow of containers through its gate, yard, and berth. In the past, many termi- nals relied on their own in-house software and tools. In today's fast-changing environment with rapid technological advances and constant practice changes, terminals are finding it more cost effective, convenient, and reliable to outsource this service to third parties. In addition to provid- ing the core functionalities for terminal operations, the TOS is often linked to other systems such as billing, gate automation technology, and Web-based applications where customers can track their containers, make payments, and/or make an appointment. Because of the need to provide customers with up-to-date information on a container, a great deal of information is tracked for every container. Regarding drayage operations, in the normal course of operations the marine terminal operators and their information systems record data on the following: Volume--Daily gate transaction volumes (and therefore weekly, monthly, and annual values) by transaction type and time of day as well as shipping line, trucking company, container num- ber, and characteristics Most terminals also keep track of the number of double moves that are made at their terminals. Gate processing--In-gate processing times, implicitly defined as the time between first contact (often at a first-stage pedestal) and the issuance of a yard slip or other directions to leave the gate and enter the container yard. Note that this time span could include a significant wait between the first contact point and the actual gate in a two-stage system. This time does not include the trucks' queuing time while waiting to gain access to the first-stage pedestal. Out-gate exit times--The terminal system may or may not capture the time at which a driver starts the out-gate transaction, but will definitely live-stamp the issuance of an EIR or other doc- ument completing the interchange process. Turn times--A key performance measure associated with drayage operations is truck turn time. This is the difference between the truck's exit time and the truck's entered time. Trouble tickets--Trouble tickets are a key factor in terminal delays, and are discussed in more detail below.

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18 Truck Drayage Productivity Guide In theory, then, marine terminal operators should be able to provide complete, accurate infor- mation on gate flows and transactions from their information systems. In practice, the accuracy and accessibility of gate information will vary with the accuracy of inputs, the rigor with which the system is maintained, and the experience of those accessing the data. The operations manager and gate supervisors typically review the turn time report daily. Although the format of this report varies from terminal to terminal, it will include the turn times by transaction types (e.g., import, export), container types (e.g., dry van, reefer, flat rack), and the overall average, median, minimum, and maximum turn times. Some terminals will also include turn times of trouble transactions. To help the managers and supervisors understand how turn times were affected by the work load, the turn time report may also include the number of gate moves, warehouse moves, rail moves, the number of available equipment, and the number of trou- ble transactions. In requesting data from the terminal operators, researchers should be mindful of several chal- lenges and pitfalls, including the following: Some terminal data may not be as easy to access and compile as the request may anticipate. To obtain the data, the terminal operator may have to create a special database query, which requires time and effort. There may be gaps in the data. Every container terminal is set up differently. Thus, analysis of performance measures such as turn time should consider the characteristics of that terminal. For example, some terminals have the RPMs inside their gates and others have them outside. Obviously, the truck turn times will be higher for those terminals with the RPMs inside their gates. There are very few common marine terminal operating systems in use, and each has its strengths and weaknesses in drayage transactions. The weaknesses tend to be addressed over time, but the feedback loop from frustrated drayage driver to terminal software engineer can be a long one. Terminal data files can be very large, with some annual compilations exceeding 1 million records. Also, terminal data are proprietary, and any data request must be accompanied by appro- priate safeguards for confidentiality. Gate Processing and Turn Time Data Container terminal operating systems collect information on gate activity. The gate data are entered by the clerks who check inbound and outbound trucks, or through automated systems such as swipe cards or optical character recognition (OCR) camera systems. When a drayage driver pulls a container from the terminal interchange, documents are completed to transfer legal custody of the container and chassis (and the contents, if loaded). Movement of loaded contain- ers, empty containers, and bare chassis to and from the marine terminals thus tends to be well documented, but some reconciliation between interchange documentation and gate records may be required. Bobtail trips have not been documented as carefully in the past, but should be more accurately recorded with increased security concerns. A marine terminal information system will typically assign a unique record number to each transaction. A transaction is defined as an instance where the terminal staff interact with a truck, either in the gate or in the yard. The most reliable data are captured at the in-gate and the out- gate. Sometimes records are generated within the terminal, such as a record of when the truck was loaded by a gantry crane. One challenge in analyzing terminal records is aligning transac-

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Drayage Data and Information Sources 19 tion records with truck visits. For example, a truck may generate several transaction records in the course of a single visit in which it drops off one container and picks up another. Some data manipulation can be required to get the terminal database to "tell the story" of each individual truck trip. Trouble Ticket Records Trouble tickets are created by the marine terminal when a drayage driver's planned transaction cannot be completed without special human intervention and resolution. Trouble tickets result most often from documentation or process issues, but occasionally are due to container location or equipment issues. Marine terminals typically keep historical records and monitor the reasons for trouble tickets. Some trouble tickets may result in a minor administrative delay whereas others may result in a longer delay or the abandonment of the transaction. On average, each trouble ticket adds about an hour to the turn time as well as requiring additional administrative time for the marine terminal and other operating personnel, depending upon the particular circumstances. The study team found that approximately 5% of all such transactions result in trouble tickets, and this rate was relatively consistent across the participating marine terminals. The analysis of trouble ticket data can be used to provide information and insight necessary to evaluate the overall effectiveness of communications and administrative processes in the logistics chain. At this level, the results cannot be used to blame or find fault with any individual party or group. The trouble ticket "reason" codes simply report the symptom and not the cause of the trou- ble. For example, in this kind of system a trouble ticket labeled as "dispatch error" may the fault of the motor carrier dispatcher or the party that provided the dispatcher with bad information. To perform this kind of analysis the researcher will need to 1. Obtain the raw data from the marine terminal. Typically, these data can be provided interac- tively or in an electronic format such as Excel or Access. 2. Analyze the data to produce a frequency distribution to determine if particular "reason" codes are more/much more important than others. 3. After reviewing the data, consult with the marine terminal to ensure that the codes are well defined and well understood, and determine when and where the codes are applied and by whom. Codes have been created to serve the marine terminal and are in the local jargon. At the end of the interview the researcher should thoroughly understand the definition of all the data elements as well as the reliability of the process used to create the data. A potential problem with trouble ticket data is that several different workers are typically applying the codes. Because there are many different workers and many codes with similar definitions, it is likely that codes are somewhat inconsistently applied. 4. As necessary, categorize and summarize data to provide meaningful information and to miti- gate the inconsistencies inherent in the data collection process. 5. If possible, correlate trouble ticket data with driver experience level, motor carrier, customer, marine terminal, transaction type, or marine carrier. Although this kind of analysis can begin to focus attention on problem areas, they are not, in and of themselves, sufficient to fix blame. To actually determine the fault, a thorough investigation would be required for each trouble ticket. 6. Provide the information and associated implications to the marine terminal. The results may be useful to the firm for management purposes, and review by the marine terminal provides a necessary reasonableness check on the research results. Trouble ticket data are most useful in determining which types of process exceptions are most common and where follow-up analysis would be most useful. For example, the NCFRP Project 14