Collaboration, communication goals of Trucker Safety Committee
SAVANNAH, Ga., Dec. 14, 2023 – Motor carriers represent a key link in the supply chain between ocean carriers and American producers and consumers. Because of this strategic partnership, Georgia Ports has established a Trucker Safety Committee to address driver concerns and help new and existing drivers become more familiar with safe operations on terminal.
“GPA values its partners in the motor carrier industry and respects the job that they do every day,” said GPA President and CEO Griff Lynch. “Georgia Ports created this initiative to increase communication between our port operations and safety teams and motor carriers.”
More than 13,200 motor carriers are registered as active users of the Port of Savannah.
Direct communication with the trucking community can be challenging because of the wide range of operators, including owner operators representing one driver and large companies that represent dozens or even hundreds of drivers.
“Our Customer Service Center already works with the trucking community daily,” said CSC General Manager Alma Rodriguez. “The Safety Team is bringing a lot of education, adding another layer of support drivers had not been getting in the past.”
The Trucker Safety Committee aims to bring representatives from all groups to the table to listen to the communities’ needs and respond in actionable ways. The committee is made up of terminal managers and dispatchers from large and midsized companies, with a rotation system to include voices from smaller companies.
The Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal averages more than 6,000 truck visits per day. The average time a driver is on terminal for a single move, either dropping off a container or picking up a container, is just under 35 minutes. A double move – dropping off a container and picking up a different container – is only 54 minutes at Garden City Terminal, the fastest of any gateway port.
A recent committee meeting included nearly 30 drivers representing 15 motor carrier companies of all sizes.
Representatives from GPA operations teams shared information about gate operations, trouble ticket processes, and procedures for the empty container yard. After hearing from Georgia Ports, the group discussed concerns about issues they have been facing.
GPA also engages the community by visiting trucking company offices in person, meeting with management, dispatchers, safety personnel and drivers.
“We rely on each other to keep cargo moving,” said GPA Chief Operating Officer Ed McCarthy. “We are excited to hear from the trucking community and work with them to address challenges that we both face. We want to make it easy to do business here.”
The Georgia Ports Safety Team offers resources for motor carrier partners including terminal tours, ride-alongs, and site visits. For additional information about accessing these and other resources, email [email protected].
Resources for motor carriers, including a Garden City Terminal Drivers’ Orientation Video can be found at https://gaports.com/departments/safety/.
About Georgia Ports
Georgia’s ports and inland terminals support more than 561,000 jobs throughout the state annually, and contribute $33 billion in income, $140 billion in revenue and $3.8 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. GPA anticipates investing $4.5 billion in the next ten years as part of its port master plan to expand cargo handling capabilities to support future supply chain requirements. As part of GPA’s community engagement efforts, $6 million will be donated to communities located near the Port of Savannah to support a multi-year, local workforce housing initiative. CNBC ranked Georgia #1 in the U.S. for infrastructure in America’s Top States for Business in 2023. Area Development – a site selection news outlet for the U.S., has ranked Georgia as the Top State to Do Business for ten consecutive years. For further information, visit gaports.com or contact Chief Communications Officer Tom Boyd at [email protected] or call (912) 964-3855.