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Lorry driving can mean a lot of sitting and doing nothing for drivers tasked with hauling containers to and from ports. Poor scheduling results in dozens of drivers sitting around waiting for their loads, further adding to traffic congestion on local roads. Such is the problem with the Port of Cork in Ireland. The Port is about to embark on a redevelopment plan based on the example of England’s successful Felixstowe Port on the shores of the North Sea.

Felixstowe at one time suffered the same traffic congestion problems now being observed in Cork. The port received permission in 2006 to redevelop its freight moving systems to include an advanced Vehicle Booking System (VBS) for British hauliers. The VBS has been a huge success – nearly 10,000 hauliers are currently signed up to use the system.

The VBS is based on two simple principles: cargo tracking and online booking. In the first phase, workers at the port verify that shipping containers are ready to go prior to making them available for pickup. Once these are approved and entered into the system, the haulage companies are then informed so they can book their arrival times. Lorries arrive at the appointed time, load or unload, and quickly move on their way.

The Port of Cork plans to spend up to €100 million to improve its deep-water cargo handling systems. The addition of the VBS is just one part of the redevelopment project. It also plans to put money into improving local roads and redesigning some routes in order to alleviate congestion.

In England, the improvements at Felixstowe reduced average wait times from three hours to 40 minutes. Furthermore, less congestion also reduced wear and tear on local roads. Both are points that officials in Cork hope to repeat at their own port.

Scheduling Vitally Important

As any seasoned driver or transport manager can tell you, scheduling is vitally important to the HGV trade. Drivers depend on being able to pick up or drop off loads as scheduled, while shippers and receivers are counting on drivers to arrive on time. Just one scheduling glitch in the chain can throw off operations for an entire day. It is easy to see why the Port of Cork wants to spend so much money on improvements.

Here at the HGV Training Centre, there is nothing we can do to help alleviate HGV traffic in order to make lorry driving more streamlined. However, we can continue to be one of the leading providers of driver training in UK. That is just what we intend to do. We will continue offering training for all classes of commercial vehicles at more than 45 facilities around the UK. We can train you too, if you are ready to start your career as a commercial lorry driver.

We utilise a fast-paced and concentrated training approach to help you learn and retain the information you need to know. You can likely complete your training much faster than you think.

Sources:

  1. Irish Examiner – https://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/port-to-introduce-booking-system-for-hauliers-286919.html

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