Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Booking System For Freight Trucks A Success At Port Of Southampton

DP World Celebrate Five Years of VBS
Shipping News Feature

UK – As the Britain’s second largest shipping container terminal, at times handling over 4,000 TEU per day by road and rail, a steady throughput of trucks through the port is essential in the DP World Southampton facility, a joint venture between DP World and Associated British Ports. This week the company celebrated the five year anniversary of their mandatory vehicle booking system (VBS). The primary objective of introducing VBS was, and still is, to smooth the flow of vehicles over a longer period throughout the day and ultimately reduce turnaround times for lorries.

The system was designed and developed in house by the terminal’s own IT team after discussing the details with regular hauliers and drayage operators, this cooperation has continued to ensure the systems flexibility in the light of changing conditions. Steve McCrindle, Operations Manager, DP World Southampton is plainly delighted at the way the system has rationalised deliveries and commented:

“Since the introduction of VBS we have seen the turnaround times for lorries using the terminal fall dramatically. In particular, during recent years, we have seen the average turnaround time fall to around 30-40 minutes. VBS also enables us to utilise the resources serving the landside operation as efficiently as possible as we know how many lorries we will be handling in a given hour during the day.”

Initially some local hauliers were resistant to the change but now it seems generally agreed that the system has worked well for all involved at a cargo facility which can handle up to 3000 vehicles in a 24 hour period. John Williams, Managing Director, Maritime Transport, a UK market leader in the container transport sector with over 200 vehicles based in Southampton said:

“Since VBS was introduced at the terminal, our business has grown five fold. We greatly value our relationship with DP World Southampton and appreciate that VBS has made Southampton one of the UK’s most efficient port operations.”