In light of recent congestion issues at both Belfast VT1/VT2 and 12 Quays Birkenhead we have reviewed our process for accepting delivery of trailers to our terminals.
The main focus areas for us as a company are to:
- Monitor and improve health and safety standards on all terminals
- Reduce the time for customer drivers on the terminals for trailer dropoff/delivery
- Maintain our vessel schedules to ensure on-time delivery for our customers
As a business we are fully aware of the need to ensure service levels at our terminals are efficient and our vessel schedules are maintained in a safe environment.
The introduction of our two new E-Flexer vessels, Stena Edda and Stena Embla, has increased the capacity on our Belfast – Birkenhead service by circa. 30%. With the increase in capacity on the route our terminals have become increasingly congested and in turn more challenging to manage in regards to safety and efficiency.
As part of our on-going development in this area we have introduced a new terminal management system called rePORT, this is a digital system enabling our tug masters to improve both accuracy and efficiency when loading and discharging trailers, to and from the vessels. This, in turn, will provide us with the tools to improve flow of information to customers on where to park export trailers and collect import trailers from when they arrive at the terminals. We believe this will also benefit customers when working on the terminal with improved efficiency on the time taken to drop/collect and improve the safety environment with the accurate information provided.
On review, and to reduce congestion and further enhance health and safety within the ports, we will extend the ‘24 hour rule’ to include weekends, therefore operating this process 7 days per week. The ‘24 hour rule’ at present allows for trailers to be presented at the terminal for shipment up to no more than 24 hours prior to the booked sailing time Monday-Friday, i.e. a booking for our 1030 sailing on a Wednesday can be presented to the terminal any time after 1030 on the previous day (Tuesday) and not before. Any trailer presented more than 24 hours prior to its booked sailing time is not permitted on the terminal and the driver will be instructed to leave the terminal with the trailer.
As of Monday 29 March 2021 we will extend the ’24 hour rule’ to include weekends, therefore operating this process 7 days a week, i.e. a booking for our 1030 sailing on a Sunday can be presented to the terminal any time after 1030 the previous day (Saturday) and not before. Any trailer presented more than 24 hours prior to its booked sailing time is not permitted on the terminal and the driver will be instructed to leave the terminal with the trailer.
By reducing congestion on our terminals we will improve the efficiency of operations for both customers and our employees and, most importantly, ensure everyone is operating in a safe environment.
We trust you will understand the need for these changes, and would appreciate your co-operation in ensuring that these new procedures are effectively communicated to your front-line staff, drivers and contracted hauliers working on your behalf.