Harbour Link Blog Archive

Second Update of the Implementation of the Terminal Gate Compliance Initiative (TGCI) by Port Metro Vancouver Container Terminal Operators

Posted 2011-10-25 by Harbour Link in opinion

Since our last update (issued in August) about the implementation of the gate compliance initiative by the Vancouver container terminal operators, Harbour Link has continued to work closely with the BCTA to achieve an accord with the terminal operators that will help expedite the seamless flow of container truck traffic at the Gateway.

Thanks to the BCTA, who are working in association with the Chamber of Shipping and the West Coast Shippers Coalition, the Vancouver terminal operators have agreed to postpone the implementation of the Terminal Gate Compliance Initiative until January 1, 2012 and to make the following changes to the initiative:

• To waive the $1 per completed reservation charge.

• To introduce a 5% per calendar month reduction in penalty assessments to allow for reservations that are missed or cancelled due to unforeseen and/or uncontrollable circumstances, i.e. the terminals will automatically reduce the number of cancelled or missed reservations by 5% of the total reservations completed by each truck carrier.

• To adopt a voucher system to verify when a missed or cancelled reservation will not be assessed a penalty.

• A commitment by the terminal operators not to issue penalties when a significant event (e.g., closure of the Port Mann Bridge, closure of any terminal due to weather conditions or equipment failure) that impacts the ability of truck carriers to meet reservation obligations at all terminals.

• Agreement by TSI that swapped reservations made by a trucking company will not be charged a cancellation fee.

• Agreement by Centerm to not impose penalties for cancelled reservations made by 4 pm one day prior to the reservation, in order to recognize that the Centerm reservation system is currently unable to accommodate reservation swapping.

The BCTA alliance is continuing to hold discussions with the terminal operators to achieve further changes to the methodology and the process for the adoption of the gate compliance initiative. These matters encompass the following:

a) The development of a reference guide of the terminology and definitions pertaining to the gate compliance initiative and the voucher system, including the items included in a standard invoice and the provision of dispute resolution methodology.

b) To investigate how to deal with the extra reservations which are created at Deltaport when the mass create tool is used.

c) To investigate the pros and cons of reducing the reservation window at Deltaport from 7, to 3 or 4 days. This is being considered because of a belief that there is greater certainty of the timing of export shipments/containers under a shorter reservation window to minimize the likelihood of a reservation being subsequently cancelled.

d) The development of a service agreement between trucking companies and the terminal operators, including provision of quid pro quo provisions to ensure fairness in the application and assessment of cancellation/missed reservation penalties.

e) To achieve changes to the existing reservation system to enable truck carriers to secure reservations in a timely manner and to accomplish the two-way movement of containers whenever possible.

We will continue to keep you informed of the progress of the above discussions and all changes that are made to the gate compliance initiative prior to it being implemented by the Vancouver container terminal operators on January 1st 2012.

In the meantime, we encourage you to voice your concern to PMV as custodians of the Gateway to ensure the gate compliance initiative results in improvements to the reservation system to correct the existing serious problem of being unable to secure timely reservations and the optimization of two way container movements.