Marine Terminal Operations Best Practices Study


Business Challenge

SSA Marine, a leading marine terminal operator, SSA loads and unloads ships at ports from Seattle to San Antonio, Chile. The company also maintains rail terminals and provides warehousing and distribution services at some of the ports where it operates. Overall, SSA does business from about 150 locations worldwide. SSA had been experiencing, like other marine terminal operators, increasing marketplace pressures to improve the terminal / trucker operations interface processes and technology. They were about to begin developing a new marine terminal at the Port of Long Beach and wanted to incorporate Best Practices in marine terminal / trucker operations interfaces.

How WCL Consulting Helped

WCL Consulting identified 16 marine terminal / trucker critical interface elements which included:

  1. Automated availability system
  2. Export booking information
  3. Delivery order processing
  4. Front gate driver processing
  5. Clarity of equipment interchange documents
  6. Responsiveness / problem solving ability – front gate
  7. Responsiveness / problem solving ability – office
  8. Responsiveness / problem solving ability – yard operations
  9. Yard layout / signage / traffic flow
  10. Driver status in terminal update information
  11. Equipment repairs on problem equipment
  12. Hazardous shipment handling procedures
  13. Reefer shipment handling procedures
  14. Communication and coordination with trucking companies
  15. English-Spanish communication between terminal and drivers
  16. Out gate driver processing

A mail survey in both English and Spanish was sent to: 70 trucking companies, 512 truck  dispatchers / account coordinators, and 2,595 drivers. The survey findings identified the marine terminal / trucking operations interfaces Best Practices of the thirteen marine container terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. SSA Marine used the report in the design on their new terminal.