For several days running, The Post and Courier has featured articles addressing problems at the SPA’s Wando Welch Terminal. These problems all stem from the terminal’s implementation of a new “gate system” and the main issue is traffic congestion both on and off the port. In almost every article, port officials acknowledge they are having problems and take some portion of the responsibility for them.
They seem quick to point out, though, that the burden was created in part by the expansion of the Panama Canal and the bigger ships it sends us. In other words “it’s not all our fault.” They also throw shade at the local trucking community, going so far as to accuse truckers of “not following the rules,” “not obtaining gate codes,” and now “arriving en mass at peak hours.”
The trucking community has always “arrived at peak hours.” That’s why they are called “peak hours.” Truckers have changed nothing in their operating model and many companies, either on their own or as a collective body, trained their employees well in advance on the gate system and its necessity for gate codes.
The trucking community has been very proactive and cooperative with the port and its many entities in preparation for this change. To publicly blame any part of this congestion on the trucking community is not just false, it’s an affront to truckers and misleading to the public.
Perhaps port officials could ask Maersk, MSC or Hapag-Lloyd to wait at sea or dock at “off peak” hours to lessen this congestion.