When we think of seaports, images of bustling movement and salty sea air come to mind. Amid the action and proximity to the open ocean is a ton of congestion. If drivers working with your fleet frequent these ports or pass by them, your day-to-day routes can quickly come to a halt if you're not strategic.
I analyzed our comprehensive suite of U.S. data to decipher how ports affect trucks and how you can maximize these insights to accelerate efficiencies in your operation.
Dwelling in dwells
A dwell is registered when a truck has not moved more than 100 feet for a certain amount of time. To analyze trucks passing through or near seaports, I set the minimum dwell time threshold as one hour.
Above, you can see a graph of total trucks that dwell in the country's top ports. The most frequently visited port is the New York and New Jersey port. The Los Angeles and Long Beach port is a close runner-up, while Oakland’s port is a distant third.
Here, you can see the average dwell time, in minutes, for each port. The minimum dwell time is defined as one hour, so all average dwell times for the ports are greater than 60 minutes.
When I broke down dwell times by days of the week, Saturday was the busiest day. Friday was a far second.
Finally, you can see several ports fluctuate heavily with month-to-month dwell times, but the rest follow the same general month-to-month pattern as far as fluctuations are concerned.
Relate the data to your operation
A critical distinction around dwell activity is that most of the vehicles in our database aren't stopping at these seaports — but the proximity affects their time regardless.
This graph highlights the dwell locations of trucks after visiting ports. The trucks frequenting Oakland's port and the New York and New Jersey port have the most inland spread. These are vehicles traveling long distances and possibly making frequent stops. Timing is everything, so being stuck for hours is less than ideal when you want to meet customer time windows and retain drivers.
While some delays may always be unavoidable, you can utilize intelligent solutions integrated with real-time data to help drivers and your back-office teams make time-efficient decisions. Ensure every driver is on the least congested route with real-time GPS navigation that takes your vehicle's restrictions into account. Further, utilize efficient routing and dispatch applications to strategically plan routes with intelligent route algorithms and streamline communication with drivers, so they have the right support to avoid dwell spots whenever possible.
Discover more data insights and enhance driver safety in our recent blog article on hazardous locations.