Thursday, April 10, 2014

No Wonder China Is The Exporting Superpower

It's been over a year since we've been to a port.  Now I remember why we hate going.

It's an all day affair.

Granted, our most recent visit to the Port of Newark was hindered in part by Ed having to get a new SeaLink card, which took several hours more than it should have, but being in the port creates an even longer delay.

Going to the port should be easy, but it never is.  The procedure in theory isn't that hard - you pull in, you're squawked at by a very loud guy coming over an intercom asking you for your booking number, container number, and trucking company name.  Then they check that and send you to the next gate where you weigh the truck and have the container inspected.  After that, you're told where to go to have the container removed from the truck.  Sounds simple, right?

But right at that intercom is where the runaround begins.  God forbid anyone give you a map to a place where the thousands of containers stacked four high look exactly the same.  Directions are impossible because nothing's marked.  And if it is marked, you're never given a number coordinating with the markings.  Eventually, you get so frustrated you wind up asking a forklift driver where to go.  He points.  If you catch his neanderthal gesture, you head in the general direction of the pointed finger until you find another equally uninterested forklift driver who tells you go to see "that guy".  "That guy" tells you to go to another guy, who tells you to go back to the first area.  

After driving around aimlessly, someone inevitably points you to the trouble window.  That's actually what it's called, The Trouble Window.  At this aptly named window, they are supposed to root out the trouble.  For us the trouble was that our truck wouldn't fit on the scale because it was too long.  And if you can't get weighed, you can't unload your stuff.

So what did they do?  They took the weight off the Bill of Lading, which was there all along, from the moment we entered the gate.  After they recorded the weight, they sent us back to the guy who checks the seal on the container, who then wrongfully sent us to a slot to unload.

Which wasn't where we were supposed to be.  At ALL.

So the slot guy said to go back to the scale guy, the scale guy sent us back to the seal guy, the seal guy sent us back to the slot guy, who sent us back to the scale guy, who sent us back to the seal guy, who sent us back to the slot guy.  You see where this is going, right?

I say it every single time we load or unload at a port....

I'm fucking amazed that anything imported or exported ever makes it any further than our shores.

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2013: 109 Miles Of White Knuckle Passengering 
2012: Strong
2011: The Man Unmasked
2010: Fingers Crossed For All Things Motorized!
2009: Eddie Forces A Smile Friday
2008: A, B, C, D, DD: No Matter What The Letter, The Trauma Is The Same
2007: How To Watch American Idol The Right Way
2006: Dings And Hos
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

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