Advertisement
SC Biz News

Distribution & Logistics

Subscribe to Our Digital Newsletters

Port plays catch-up at Wando Welch Terminal

Distribution & Logistics
  • Share

The S.C. State Ports Authority has extended gate hours to help drivers catch up on deliveries and pickups at the Wando Welch Terminal, more than a week after the Advanced Gate System was implemented. (Photo/Liz Segrist)

Delays continue but are slowly abating at Wando Welch Terminal along Long Point Road in Mount Pleasant, more than a week after implementation of the new Advanced Gate System at the terminal.

Last week, it took truck drivers two to 2 1/2 hours on average to enter the terminal, drop off or pick up cargo, and leave, compared with the norm of about one hour, according to Jim Newsome, the president and CEO of the S.C. State Ports Authority, in an email.

Truck drivers now must enter a code before being granted access to enter the Wando Welch Terminal in Mount Pleasant. (Photo/Liz Segrist)The long waits have meant fewer turn times — instances in and out of the port — for truckers since the June 18 implementation. The new system requires drivers to enter a code at the gate.

The new software also enables port staff members to inspect trucks and containers via images from a computer — which are captured by a camera when a truck pulls up to the terminal — rather than by walking around for a manual inspection.

Port officials have said the new system will speed up cargo flow over time, but the learning curve as the new technology is implemented is creating a slowdown.

The port has extended gate hours at the terminal to help truck drivers make up cargo drop-offs and pickups within their schedules. Truck drivers have federally mandated limits on their hours, so they cannot work overtime to compensate for time wasted idling in traffic.

In addition to delays related to the technology, the new system also had two shutdowns last week, slowing things further. The technology stabilized over the weekend, port officials said. The port handled 2,500 gate moves during 18 hours of operation over the weekend.

“We are hopeful that hardware crashes are behind us,” Newsome said.    

The port handled 3,850 gate moves Monday during normal operating hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Gate hours were extended until 11 Monday night to continue moving containers from the railroad to the terminal.

“Performance of the system and transactions was much better today,” Newsome said in an email. “Still not what we ultimately need it to be, but headed in the right direction.”

During the peak period Monday, the port handled about 400 transactions per hour. The new software had “one technological glitch briefly,” and some traffic controls occurred on Interstate 526 between the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in an effort to keep congestion off Long Point Road.

“Traffic was well-managed by the Mount Pleasant and port police. ... Errors we experience seem more and more random, meaning that the industry, including us, is getting rapidly up on the learning curve,” Newsome said in the email.

In the week before the Advanced Gate System was implemented at the Wando terminal, the port handled 20,800 gate moves there. This compares with about 19,000 moves last week, the first full week with the new system.

The port is also focusing on catching up on railroad moves to and from the terminal.

“We have about 6,000 rail containers per week to/from our terminals and have to keep that fluid,” Newsome said in an email. “That will be a priority focus for us this week.”

Schedules for Wando Welch Terminal and North Charleston Terminal:

Today:

  • Gates will be open normal hours: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Last truck through the security gate at 5:30 p.m.
  • Refrigerated gate cut-off is 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday:

  • Gates will be open normal hours: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Last truck through the security gate at 5:30 p.m.
  • Refrigerated gate cut-off is 4:30 p.m.

Thursday:

  • Extended gate hours: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Last truck through the security gate at 8:30 p.m.
  • Refrigerated gate operating normal hours: cut-off at 4:30 p.m.

Friday:

  • Gates will be open normal hours: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Last truck through the security gate at 5:30 p.m.
  • Refrigerated gate cut-off is 4:30 p.m.

Saturday:

  • Gates will be open normal Saturday hours: 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Last truck through the security gate at 12:30 p.m.
  • No refrigerated services offered.

Sunday:

  • Gates closed.

Monday:

  • Closed for Independence Day.

July 5:

  • Extended gate hours: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Last truck through the security gate at 8:30 p.m.
  • Extended refrigerated gate hours: cut-off 8 p.m.

Reach Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119.

  • Share
0 Comments
Write a Comment