The goal of the three year Smart Fleet plan is to allow port officials, industry representatives and government personnel to work together to “drive performance, accountability and sustainability within the container drayage supply chain”.
“In 2012, container traffic at Port Metro Vancouver reached a new record of 2.7 million TEUs and that number will continue to grow,” said Robin Silvester, Port Metro Vancouver president and chief executive officer. “Given that a large proportion of container traffic moves to and from the terminals by truck, improvements to reliability and efficiency are vital.”
The port has concluded the GPS pilot program it began in 2012. Named the Container Drayage Efficiency Pilot Project, the trial saw 16 percent of the trucking fleet at the port operating under the truck licensing system (TLS) fitted with GPS transponder units.
Smart Fleet will see the pilot expanded and made mandatory. This should mean that instead of 300 trucks fitted with the devices, approximately 1,000 trucks—roughly half the local fleet—will carry GPS units.
“The expanded use of GPS technology will improve supply chain efficiency and help Canadian exports grow in dynamic and fast-growing markets overseas. By providing accurate, real-time traffic and routing information, this technology will reduce congestion around the port and ensure Canada’s world-class exports get to where they are in demand all over the world,” said Ed Fast, federal minister of international trade and minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway.
Under the mandatory portion of the program “700 of the newest model year TLS-approved trucks (as of February 28, 2013) will be required to receive a GPS transponder unit to be installed in the truck. These GPS transponders will be provided by Port Metro Vancouver at no cost to the truck owner/company and installations will take place on the South Shore of Vancouver’s harbour at 2901 Commissioner Street, just outside of Port Metro Vancouver’s VACS Security Gate.”
Smart Fleet costs are being shared between Transport Canada, the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and Port Metro Vancouver.