Ferry service to implement commercial reservation system
lization of vessels,” Follett said. “Advance reservations will enable trucking companies to reduce a driver’s downtime and maximize the efficient use of their assets.”
Check-in time for commercial customers will be reduced, which will in turn reduce traffic congestion on the highways near the entry to the terminals. Information related to the type of goods being transported by each commercial unit will be provided during the booking phase, decreasing the amount of time required to complete the final cargo manifest in preparation for sailing.
“It is because of the magnitude of change for all involved that we are implementing this system at a time of the year when traffic demand is near its lowest, giving everyone an opportunity to become familiar with the system before the busier summer season,” Follett said.
Shane Esson, chairman of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA), said the association has been aware of the change.
“ We’ve had dialogue with Marine Atlantic, it’s not a surprise,” Esson said. “ There’s been some consultation, some of our members i n Newfoundland have attended meetings to provide input.”
Esson said there will be challenges for some people and he expects it will take a while to work out the bugs.
“ The current system is not working, so it’s time to try something different. Fortunately, they did consult with the APTA and some of our members.
“Also, they’re doing it right by meeting with the carriers and truckers over the next couple of weeks to get input and feedback, which is the right thing to do. When you consult with people, you generally end up with a better solution.”