Freight Traffic Management System [FTMS] Eases Truck Congestion and Accelerates the Movement of Cargo Through Ports While Reducing Particulate and CO2 Emissions

The world’s major container ports are plagued by two related problems, which till now have been treated as separate issues: Truck Congestion and Cargo Velocity. Unfortunately, the stakeholders have focused solely on improving operations within their own facilities, with little or no regard for the parties with which they interact.

While it is understandable that the Marine Terminal Operators [MTOs], Drayage Trucking Operators [DTOs], Distribution Centers [DCs] and Intermodal Terminals are adverse to having third parties tell them how to do their job, it is inescapable that how they do their jobs affects all parties dealing with them.

Each has taken an independent approach to managing operations on their side of the fence [behind the gate] and sharing the critical information that drives cargo through the port. However, that information is often erroneous, incomplete and late. Corrections are made only when the truck is at the gate or a container is called for at an unexpected time or day or is delivered randomly.

The FTMS provides a common web-based platform that all stakeholders can use to their advantage to publish and update information at any time, in any order and modify that information when necessary. Because it runs in your Browser you have access to the FTMS anytime - anywhere that you have access to the internet. No software to install.

Additionally, the FTMS embeds advanced computational techniques including Predictive Analytics and Evolutionary Programing that looks at the data flowing through it and can provide users with curated information that will allow the stakeholder to improve its operations and reduce costs.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Next Truck
  • Next Container
  • Adaptive Appointments
  • Dynamic Geo Tracking of Trucks with predicted arrival
  • On-the-Fly Adjustment of Appointments
  • Comprehensive data coverage - no need to access multiple sources

The cornerstone of the FTMS is a dynamic Adaptive Appointment System that applies not only to the Marine Terminals but also to Intermodal Facilities, Distribution Centers, Warehouses and local deliveries.

FTMS departs from the Batch Transmit EDI model. Participants have access to pertinent data as and when needed; improving information timeliness by 24 to 72 hours or more.

Ideally the FTMS would be implemented port wide. The System can be installed, operated and maintained by ATS, the Port Authority or a Special Purpose Entity comprised of the MTOs and other interested parties. Other formulations are possible.

The System, as well as its operation and maintenance, could be paid for by assessing a low uniform fee for all gate transactions. Depending on volumes, the transaction fee could be as low as $5 - $10 per gate move.

Port Stakeholders can leverage their participation by automating the transmission and receipt of FTMS data within their own organizations, improving the ROI of the IT investments already in place. ATS and its IT partners can assist.

Current appointment systems are little more than schedulers with little if any intelligence. There is an information gap between the Marine Terminal, Drayage Trucker and the BCO.

The FTMS bridges that information gap. All of the required information is available in advance of the truck's arrival at the terminal gate. And, Predicted Next Truck/Next Container is available to the Terminal Operator for use within its own TOS enhancing the intelligence of existing systems. Further, all of the information in regard to the Truck, the Container, the Chassis and the Driver remain available so that the information does not have to be re-entered when the container is delivered to the DC or Intermodal Facility.

Let's look at how the FTMS can simplify and streamline the processing of the information need to move cargo through the port. Currently the transaction process is highly linear.

The FTMS provides a common platform that allows stakeholders to upload all of the information associated with their cargo at any time and in any order. But that repository must be secure and access to the data must be within the control of the responsible party. The FTMS provides that platform.

This schematic depicts the core computational elements of the FTMS. As information flows through the FTMS Server machine intelligence analyses the data, identifies trends, compares performance and predicts the next steps in the process of moving cargo through the port.

The Adaptive Appointment System is the cornerstone of the FTMS. It facilitates the setting of appointments, monitors progress of trucks to and from the Marine Terminals, suggests best routings to the drivers and adjusts appointments if the systems determine that the driver will be more than 15 minutes early or late for the appointment. All without human intervention.