Most Port of New York and New Jersey container terminals have agreed to provide truckers with turn-time data gleaned from newly installed radio-frequency identification technology, a port official said.
The port authority is joining terminals to pay half the $1.6 million cost of providing drayage trucks with RFID tags and terminals with RFID readers. The balance is funded by a federal grant aimed at improving port security and efficiency.
Bethann Rooney, the port authority’s manager of port security, told the Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers the RFID program is on track for full implementation July 15. She said operators of an estimated 90 percent of port trucks have ordered the tags.
Global Terminal began testing the technology this month, and has shared turn-time data of trucks equipped with RFID tags. New York Container Terminal and Port Newark Container Terminal also are testing RFID readers.
Rooney said most terminals in the port have agreed to share data on truck turnaround times, a frequent point of contention between motor carriers and terminal operators.
“This is step one of giving us a turn-time report that is absolutely factual,” said Jeff Bader, president of the Bi-State association and of Golden Carriers. “We are very, very happy with it.”
Bader said truckers disagree with plans to charge truckers $95 for RFID tags — they’re free through Wednesday — but said the Bi-State association “totally supports” the terminals’ use of RFID to improve productivity.
He said that if RFID works as planned, a terminal could read a truck’s RFID tag and use the data to have a container waiting to be mounted when a driver gets to it. “I have high expectations for this. We all want it to work,” Bader said.
Rooney said 12,450 tags have been ordered and that more than 10,000 have been shipped. She said that of the 864 trucks on the port’s drayage registry compiled several years ago, 685 have ordered RFID tags for their trucks.
She urged truckers that haven’t ordered and installed the cellphone-sized tags to do so as soon as possible. “The sooner you put the tags on, the sooner we can work the kinks out of the system,” Rooney said.
The New Jersey Motor Truck Association has questioned whether using the tags to bar old trucks under the port’s clean air program would illegally pre-empt federal regulation of truck rates, routes and services. The port authority has said the program meets legal requirements.