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20 Truck Drayage Productivity Guide study team found that most trouble tickets were generated by process, information, and dispatch issues, rather than for equipment or security problems. Drayage Company Data Company Records Drayage companies keep records of the trucks that make up their fleet (trucks leased from owner-operators). Drayage companies also may have dispatch logs showing which trucks were dis- patched and for which containers they were dispatched. Drayage companies also keep safety inspec- tion records. Individual owner-operators keep records of their repairs and maintenance. Company data can be used to understand the various marine drayage tasks a driver is assigned to perform. A motor carrier typically bills for its services based on a driver's report of work per- formed. These records document the activities of a driver, showing what work was done, how it was done, for what customer, and the time it required. In addition, motor carriers have dispatch logs showing which trucks were dispatched and for which containers they were dispatched. These companies also keep safety records. Individual owner-operators keep records of their repairs and maintenance. Although some motor carriers may maintain this information in a useful electronic format, actual recordkeeping varies widely and is tailored to suit the needs of the drayage firm, not the researcher. As a result, a large number of driver time records must often be manually examined and data recorded on an Excel spreadsheet. Then this information can be analyzed to estimate turn times for different marine terminals for different types of turns (i.e., double loaded move or bob- tail in/load out). The main problem with this type of data is that it is commercially very sensitive and not often available to the outside researcher. In addition, individual driver records have the problem associ- ated with any manual contemporaneous record; the quality and reliability depend on the level of diligence of the individual driver. GPS/AVL Data GPS/AVL Capabilities A growing number of drayage firms utilize global positioning systems (GPS) or automatic vehicle locators (AVL) to track and dispatch their vehicles. GPS/AVL records are sometimes required as a reporting requirement for trucks that participate in air quality grant programs. In other cases, GPS or RFID is used to ensure that drayage trucks do not enter city streets or other corridors that are not prepared to accommodate commercial loads. AVL systems also are used for theft recovery, and some insurers give discounts to drayage firms that use such systems. "Fleet telematics" systems take the concept further by permitting two-way data exchange between the vehicle and the home terminal. Such systems provide an unprecedented opportunity to obtain highly detailed objective data on drayage movements. For example, these systems are capable of automatically recording the following: · Terminal arrival, · Idling in the terminal, · Terminal departure, · Average speed in the terminal area, and · Driving times and speeds between terminals and customer locations.
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Drayage Data and Information Sources 21 Most critically, these systems are the only means of automatically collecting data on terminal queue times. There are a number of commercial providers of such systems, including the following: · Qualcomm--www.qualcomm.com/products_services · Teletrac--www.teletrac.net · FleetMatics--www.fleetmatics.com · Advanced Tracking Technologies, Inc.--www.advantrack.com Although there have been special programs to equip drayage tractors with GPS systems specifi- cally to collect data, utilization of commercial systems already installed by the drayage firm or driver offers multiple advantages, including lower cost. The data are limited in that there is no automatic linkage to confirm what the truck was doing in the marine terminal. As such, the data produce accurate turn times, which may not be matched to the type of turn (i.e., double loaded move or bobtail in/load out) without additional manual effort. GPS Data Acquisition Example A motor carrier that regularly serves the Port of New York and New Jersey made Qualcomm/GPS data available to the NCFRP Project 14 study team. The team used the information to measure the time spent at a marine terminal, both inside the gate and in the queuing area. The first step in the process was to become familiar with the current operating patterns of the motor carrier. A day was spent with the dispatcher and a month of driver time sheets were reviewed and analyzed. The drivers recorded the time they spent at the marine terminals and these data were used as a reasonableness test for the subsequent GPS analysis. This step is essential to ensure validity and accuracy. Next, using the motor carrier's system, the research team established geofenced areas correspond- ing to the marine terminals and the auxiliary container and chassis yards serving those facilities (Figure 31). Qualcomm allows a boundary to be created around any particular geographical fea- ture such as a marine terminal, container yard, customer location, home terminal, etc. The process uses satellite photos and is very similar to that used in Google Earth to establish boundaries. The system matches the polled positions with the geofenced areas and produces a report of history of positions for each vehicle. Source: The Tioga Group, Inc./Qualcomm/Google Earth. Figure 31. Geofenced area for Global Marine Terminal, NY-NJ.