Port to extend truck scheduling system

Port of Brisbane plans to extend its truck scheduling system beyond grain

By Rob McKay | November 30, 2010

The Port of Brisbane (PBPL) plans to extend its truck scheduling system beyond grain.

The port and agribusiness GrainCorp have sung the praises of their system at GrainCorp’s Fisherman Islands grain handling facility, saying it is improving safety and efficiency by reducing grain truck congestion.

The system sprang from a "collaborative approach" between GrainCorp Operations, the port and trucking companies, which "streamlines the delivery of cargo via road, with benefits to the entire grain supply chain".

PBPL Chief Executive Officer Jeff Coleman says the new system will reduce grain truck congestion and safety concerns associated with truck queuing, due to the recent bumper cereal harvests.

"Drought breaking rain has produced exceptional volumes of export cereals - in fact in 2009/2010 total wheat exports reached their highest level in 13 years," Coleman says.

"GrainCorp’s proactive approach to managing truck flows at the port is commendable and they have developed a model which could be replicated in other Port of Brisbane facilities in the future."

The parties insist that the truck scheduling system, which was first implemented a year ago, has enabled participants at each point on the supply chain to plan more efficiently, in turn reducing costs and assisting each stakeholder to manage their chain-of-responsibility obligations.

GrainCorp Operations Brisbane Terminal Manager Leon Maguire says the system will eventually be online. It works by allocating trucks an hourly slot based on the daily intake capacity of the terminal.

"The truck scheduling system has successfully reduced waiting time for carriers delivering grain at our Fisherman Islands Terminal and will now be adopted in all GrainCorp port facilities," Maguire adds.

In high production seasons, almost two-thirds of grain bound for GrainCorp’s Port of Brisbane Terminal is transported by road.

Maguire says a proposed upgrade to a truck parking area in front of the Terminal would support the truck scheduling system by increasing the parking capacity to accommodate 20 grain trucks at any one time.

"The upgraded parking facilities will improve the management of queues and inflows of trucks from the grain belt to ensure our operations can run more efficiently," Maguire says.

Coleman says PBPL was working with GrainCorp to finalise lease arrangements for the truck parking area to enable the terminal to accommodate the anticipated increases in road freighted grain in the coming year.

"GrainCorp’s strategic investment in their grain terminal will ensure continued growth in exported grain products at the Port of Brisbane into the future," Coleman says.

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