Category Archives: Production Operations

Port of LA will pay container terminals for efficiency gains

One way to improve throughput is to offer performance rewards to the players. The Port of LA will reward Terminal Operators for each fast turn around of a truck.

It is an interesting attempt to help truckers out. Quicker turns mean more driving time for truckers, and more loads carried. It also keeps chassis at work instead of sitting and waiting. As we know, there is a shortage of chassis at ports in the US today.

Let’s see how the reward system works. And how long the port will keep it up; as time passes, terminals may deliberately slow up to get the port to keep rewarding them. The bad performance could become ordinary, requiring rewards to go faster.

Kim Link-Wills, Senior Editor Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Port of LA will pay container terminals for efficiency gains – FreightWaves

Felixstowe revamps VBS to stop ‘haulier abuse’

Here is an example of the adversarial approach to overbooking. Felixstowe has had serious problems handling cargo over the last several months. Port management is blaming it on everyone but themselves. Ocean carriers are avoiding the port or canceling visits, or cutting and running without fully unloading cargo; truckers can’t get slots to pick up or deliver; and customers are unhappy with the ability to get their cargoes delivered through this port.

I don’t know anything about the actual situation, except what I read. But when there’s poor performance, overbooking is one of the responses to expect from customers. YOu look to game the system to be able to get what you need when you need it, and rely on canceling to avoid payment. It happens everywhere. To me, it’s more a symptom of a broken system than a ‘crime’ to be punished.

I think it’s probable entirely too little time was invested in finding out what some of the customers (users) needed from the system, and when it was developed, not enough attention was paid to making sure the prospective users were able to see its advantages. When you don’t work with users closely and cooperatively, they won’t see how the system can help them.

I’d tell management, fix the problems with the system. Make it fair to all, and make sure you understand participant motivations so you can prevent gaming. Because if there’s a weakness, there will be gaming, for sure.

By Mike Wackett 12/10/2020


Walmart tightens on-time, in-full requirements

A large shipping firm has grabbed a problem by the throat.

Wal-Mart has raised its on-time in-full (OTIF) shipment requirements for all suppliers to 98%. It’s in response to a significant drop-off of on-time deliveries and short shipments, possibly due to COVID-19, but also connected with general carrier and business distress. By punishing suppliers, Wal-Mart sets a standard that others will want to match.

Failure of on-time and in-full deliveries poses a severe problem for managing inventory and matching supply to demand. Carriers won’t be able to get away with it now, and suppliers won’t do as much short-shipping. The standard will ripple over first to other consumer-oriented firms, then to all sorts of firms.

Standards for delivery are a good thing if they become industry-wide. They change the stakes, and give the consumer a clear idea of what to expect for a shipment. They set a basis for deciding what a reasonable charge is. If you can cheat on the delivery date or amount and get away with it, you are likely to when you think it’s to your advantage. And that violates customer trust.

A good example is Amazon’s pioneering of two-day shipping via Amazon Prime. It created a standard for the e-Commerce practice that firms in that market have to be clear about when they set the price for their full offer (including shipment terms)– are they following it or not?

Improving customer trust is a good thing, and sets up sound guidelines for customers to evaluate the value of an offering.

Mark Solomon Friday, September 11, 2020