Impact of Streamlined Chassis Movements and Extended Hours of Operation on Terminal Capacity and Source-Specific Emissions Reduction

As container volumes continue to increase at the nation's major gateway ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, port authorities and terminal operators are looking for ways to both increase terminal capacity and mitigate the negative environmental and community impacts of port operations. Terminal expansions are constrained by a limited availability of land and growing environmental opposition; consequently, in order to improve the effective capacity and throughput of their facilities, marine terminal operators (MTOs) must devise methods to improve the productivity and efficiency of their operations. These include procedures at the gate (processing of trucks and drivers) and within the terminal (container handling). Recent attempts undertaken by terminal operators and their landlord ports include the development of gate appointment systems for trucks; extending hours of gate operations (the PierPass Program); and a reduction in "free time" as a way to discourage cargo owners from using the terminal yard as storage facilities. Recently, the development of a port-wide chassis pool system has also been discussed by ports and MTOs. The key objective of this research will be to assess the impacts, in terms of terminal capacity and source-specific emissions, of streamlining in-terminal vehicle movements at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. We focus on two of the above strategies: chassis pools and extended hours of operation. This assessment will be conducted using qualitative and quantitative analyses, and will address both operational practices and institutional coordination. The goal is to investigate how different operational procedures would change (1) the current number and sequence of vehicle movements necessary to process a container; and (2) the time it takes to conduct the container handling process within a terminal. Impacts of this streamlined in-terminal vehicle movement on terminal productivity and effective capacity, as well as source-specific emission reductions, will be quantified. We will assess the benefit achieved through a combined implementation of chassis pools and extended hours of operation in comparison with the sum of the benefits gained by each of these measures taken in isolation. In addition, changes in institutional practices necessary for the realization of these benefits will be identified and discussed.