Harbour Link Blog Archive

Progress of Changes To Implementation of the Terminal Gate Compliance Initiative (TGCI) by PMV Container Terminal Operators

Posted 2011-08-25 by Harbour Link in opinion

This is a follow up to our previous blog regarding the announcement by Port Metro Vancouver’s container terminal operators to implement reservation fees and penalties for missed and/or cancelled reservations.

Thanks to the collective efforts of port stakeholder groups, which resulted in direct dialogue with Port Metro Vancouver’s container terminal operators to discuss our collective concerns about the impact the TGCI will have on the ports’ customers, the container terminal operators have announced that the test phase of the terminal reservation fee initiative will be extended to November 1, 2011 and the $1 fee for completed reservations will be eliminated from the initiative.

This is welcome news and provides the opportunity for the parties to address the merits of how the proposed $25 penalty for cancelled/missed reservations will resolve the existing reservation issues that presently impede the transit of containers by truck (the underpinning reason why reservations are cancelled) and to develop a mutually acceptable framework for imposing penalties for missed and cancelled reservations.

It will also provide more time for the parties to assess the economic impact the initiative will have on the movement of containerized cargo by importers and exporters and the cost impact the penalties will have on the overall competitiveness of the Gateway.

As a responsible truck carrier we fully support changes to the reservation system and the imposition of a penalty system that improves the efficiency of PMV’s container terminals. However, we strongly disagree with the imposition of penalties for cancelled reservations that are made in sufficient time to prevent any cost impact being incurred by the terminal operator and/or permit the cancelled reservation to be reused by others. We also believe that the application of penalties for missed reservations due to service performance failures by a trucking company should include quid pro quo provisions of accountability on the part of container terminal operator for their own failure to accommodate reservations within the time window given to truckers. Long gate line-ups (queuing) are a mounting occurrence at some of the terminals that cause truckers to miss their reservation windows.

We are continuing to work closely with industry associations and other stakeholder groups to achieve amendments to the terminal gate compliance initiative by the container terminal operators, which at this time will be implemented on November 1st. Such amendments being sought include:

• The need to provide balance and quid pro quo fairness to the application and assessment of cancellation/missed reservation penalties.

• To achieve changes to the existing reservation system to enhance the ability for truckers 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, impact and implementation of this initiative by PMV’s container terminal operators. In the meantime, we encourage you to voice your concern to PMV as custodians of the Gateway to ensure the TGCI which is adopted by the container terminal operators provides quid pro quo fairness and balance and results in improvements to the reservation system to correct the existing problem of truckers being unable to secure timely reservations.