Fol­lett in­sists com­mer­cial reser­va­tions sys­tem work­ing

The Southern Gazette - - NEWS -

Ma­rine At­lantic Pres­i­dent and CEO Wayne Fol­lett pro­vided an update Thurs­day on the cor­po­ra­tion’s com­mer­cial reser­va­tions sys­tem.

The new pro­gram came into ef­fect Mar. 15.

Mr. Fol­lett ac­knowl­edged since the in­tro­duc­tion of com­mer­cial reser­va­tions a num­ber of in­de­pen­dent truck­ing com­pa­nies have iden­ti­fied chal­lenges with the sys­tem.

“ We have taken these con­cerns se­ri­ously and have made a num­ber of ad­just­ments specif­i­cally de­signed to ad­dress them.”

These ac­tions in­clude con­tin­u­ously ad­just­ing in­ven­to­ries to meet emerg­ing de­mand as best as possi- ble within the ca­pac­ity lim­its, re­duced check-in times to al­low units to ar­rive at the ter­mi­nal closer to sail­ing time, in­creased can­cel­la­tion time­frames for a com­mer­cial reser­va­tion to 24 hours to free up book­ings for last minute loads, and an on­line reser­va­tions sys­tem to in­crease flex­i­bil­ity for all com­mer­cial cus­tomers.

How­ever, lo­cal truck­ers have iden­ti­fied two ma­jor con­cerns for their smaller op­er­a­tions in­clud­ing the in­abil­ity to book in ad­vance due to cash flow chal­lenges, and the re­quire­ment of full pay­ment at the time of book­ing. The other con­cern is the de­sire to con­tinue to travel on a first-come, first-serve ba­sis with- out an ad­vance reser­va­tion.

Mr. Fol­lett said “To ad­dress con­cerns re­lated to cash flow, Ma­rine At­lantic has im­ple­mented a par­tial pay­ment sys­tem for small car­ri­ers such that they are no longer re­quired to pay in full up front.

“To ac­com­mo­date the de­sire for a first-come first serve op­tion, Ma­rine At­lantic has in­tro­duced a wait list to en­able up to 10 trac­tor trail­ers per sail­ing to en­ter the prop­erty and wait for an open­ing on a ves­sel. To date, on av­er­age there has been less than one trac­tor trailer per cross­ing uti­liz­ing this ser­vice; many trac­tor trail­ers have been trans­ported on the next sail­ing and the ma­jor­ity have been within 24 hours.”

Mr. Fol­lett in­sisted these changes demon­strate Ma­rine At­lantic’s will­ing­ness to ad­just the reser­va­tions sys­tem to im­prove it for all com­mer­cial cus­tomers, and the ma­jor­ity of truck­ing com­pa­nies have adapted to the com­mer­cial reser­va­tions sys­tem.

“We have re­ceived writ­ten sup­port from the At­lantic Prov­inces Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, whose mem­bers trans­port ap­prox­i­mately 90 per cent of the prod­uct en­ter­ing and leav­ing the Is­land of New­found­land. In ad­di­tion, the Cana­dian Gro­cers’ As­so­ci­a­tion, which rep­re­sents the ma­jor­ity of busi­nesses pro­vid­ing food, have also en­dorsed the sys­tem stat­ing ‘com­mer­cial reser­va­tions are show­ing im­prove­ment in ser­vice and qual­ity of prod­uct as com­pared to the un­cer­tainty that pre­ceded the sys­tem.’”

And he said de­spite the ca­pac­ity chal­lenge of the cur­rent fleet, Ma­rine At­lantic is trans­port­ing record vol­umes of traf­fic.

“ We worked with over 300 com­mer­cial truck­ing com­pa­nies to move more than 30,000 com­mer­cial units since Apr. 1. The cor­po­ra­tion has ex­pe­ri­enced an in­crease of seven per cent of trac­tors trail­ers over the same pe­riod last year.

“This demon­strates that the com­mer­cial reser­va­tions sys­tem is a ben­e­fit to our com­mer­cial cus­tomer, the peo­ple of the prov­ince and the cor­po­ra­tion.”

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