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Drayage Data and Information Sources 31 Site Visits and Field Data Collection Site visits to marine terminals and drayage firms are extremely valuable in understanding drayage operations and terminal interactions, and imperative for those unfamiliar with the details of local port operations. Considerable care, however, is required to arrange and conduct site visits. Drayage firms are private commercial facilities. Appropriate contacts with drayage company managers will usually result in permission to observe dispatching and other operations. The morn- ings of busy days in peak shipping season can be extremely hectic, and the researcher may want to balance the educational value with the inconvenience to the firm in visiting during such times. Marine container terminals are highly sensitive facilities in several respects, as follows: · Safety--Marine terminals require all personnel to wear appropriate safety equipment and fol- low strict safety rules. Any visitors or observers in the operating areas of the terminals will be subject to the same requirements. · Security--For unescorted access, anyone on a marine terminal must have a TWIC issued by TSA. Most visitors will be escorted at all times, even if they have a TWIC. Truck drivers are not allowed to have passengers in the cab. Anyone observing operations in the gate queuing area or outside the terminal will likely be challenged by security staff. · Labor agreements--Longshore labor agreements govern any collection of data or use of tech- nology in the marine terminals. Attempts to collect data or use equipment without express permission obtained in advance will almost certainly generate union concern. There are three likely applications of field data collection for port drayage, as follows: 1. In-gate terminal queuing. Field observations of gate queuing would require multiple observers over many hours. The use of webcams or GPS/AVL systems are better alternatives for collect- ing gate queuing data. 2. In-terminal operational times such as hooking up a chassis or waiting in line for a lift machine. These fall into the category of classic "time and motion" studies. 3. Undocumented exceptions, such as turnaways or extra trips that are not recorded by terminal operating systems. Collection of data in the field--at marine terminals, drayage firms, or rail terminals--is, however, costly, time-consuming, and subject to wide variability. For those reasons, the collec- tion of data in the field should be focused on those information needs that cannot be met by other methods. Special Studies Of the various parties within the drayage industry, the ports are the only ones likely to under- take or commission special drayage studies or surveys, as shown in the following examples: · Port of Houston Drayage Survey--The Port of Houston Authority sponsored extensive verbal surveys of drayage trucks in JulyOctober 2008, with over 3,800 completed surveys. This effort was supplemented by a written survey taken July 31, 2008, with 183 completed responses. · Port of New York and New Jersey (NY/NJ) Origin-Destination Studies--The Port of New York and New Jersey undertook an extensive drayage study in 2005 focused on understanding origin and destination patterns. This work updated a previous study completed in 1995. The survey used an extensive in-person questionnaire customized as required for individual port terminals. · Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach (LALB) Truck Trip Surveys--The San Pedro Bay ports have undertaken drayage driver surveys to determine the pattern of drayage trips. With trips
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32 Truck Drayage Productivity Guide allocated to ZIP codes or to representative points within regions, such data can yield a weighted average distance to shipper/consignee locations. · Port of Oakland Drayage Study--The Port of Oakland commissioned a drayage study to sup- port the development of a clean truck plan. The report, prepared by Beacon Economics, was completed in April 2009. The Oakland study included surveys of licensed motor carriers (LMCs), drayage companies, and drayage drivers. Much of the survey scope concerned work- ing conditions, driver demographics, and a comparison of employee drivers versus owner- operators. The study did, however, attempt to address fleet composition, distances traveled, trips per day, and terminal turn time. Special studies, whether sponsored by a port authority or another party, frequently have the advantage of bringing substantial resources to bear on the issues. Such studies may, however, be limited in scope or timing. The container shipping and drayage industries are volatile, and can change significantly in a short time. The results of special studies must therefore be interpreted and applied with appropriate caution.