Expert Opinion

Many ports and trucking companies operate 24 hours a day, should importers and exporters do the same?

April 13, 2022
Container Transport
importers and exporters
Logistics Solutions
Transport Companies

Ports and many transport companies have invested in 24-hour operations to meet the demands of customers, exploit broader access to terminals, and increase the utilization of their assets.

Despite the increasing shift to 24-hour operations, the majority of deliveries of containers still occur during daytime hours. I’m sure many of these companies would like to see more importers and exporters open their doors after hours so they can increase their fleet utilization and service more customers with the trucking assets they have. This is much better than having to buy more trucks or engage subcontractors to meet customer deliveries all squeezed into daytime operating hours.

Utilization of port terminals and trucking remains low during nights and it’s a combination of lack of drivers and lack of customers willing to open their doors after hours that are some of the main reasons for this.

Recently in the USA, the Port of Los Angeles extended its receival and dispatch operations at night in an effort to clear the large backlog, however this was not well supported by transport operators who struggled to find drivers and customers who were willing and able to receive or pack containers at night from their factories or distribution centers.

Transport yards in the US are full, so collecting them from the terminal without being able to deliver them to their customers only adds to the problem.

There are many ways transport companies and shippers can increase productivity.  What MatchBox Exchange (MB) offers through its open market exchange platform is one of them.  It removes the number of truck trips from the network which is a great way to get more done with the trucks you have.

Increased productivity (re-use/exchange) + improved access (delivery/pick up from customers 24-hours a day) = improved efficiency for the whole supply chain.