Maersk's APM Terminals, which handles 40 per cent of cargo through Mumbai's Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), has introduced truck booking times when drivers can pick up boxes from its Gateway Terminals India (GTI).
This allows drivers through an empty truck lane instead of having to wait in queues at other access points, thus decreasing truck turn times 16 per cent, according to APMT trial runs last November.
GTI officials said with fixed gate-in hours for truckers, the terminal will be able to process its import clearance more efficiently, thus alleviating congestion, reports IHS Media.
"As leading players in the industry, we are constantly investing in improving our offerings to customers and expect the vehicle booking system to do just that," said APMT's local terminal operations chief, Ravi Gaitonde.
Local container freight stations praised APMT's efforts to speed trucking. "GTI has executed a splendid job, and together we were able to reduce our truck turnarounds by 40 per cent," said the leading 3PL, Allcargo Logistics's vice president, Sadanand Salian, referring to his experience with the November's test runs.
Although this new system alone will not eliminate on-and-off truck buildups in the public harbour, given that as much as 85 per cent of JNPT traffic moves by road, it could go a long way to mitigating the problem.