Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Container Port, You Are No Friend Of Mine

I wrote on this subject last year, and probably talked about it in the years prior to that. Surprisingly, the bitching I've done to the internet and anyone else who would listen, hasn't changed a thing. Yes, it's another story about the port. NEVER, and I mean NEVER, have we been to a container port without a hassle. This time was no exception.

I seriously don't know how they move the volume of container freight they do with the incompetence level where it's at. The containers have numbers, the rows have numbers, the bills of lading that accompany the containers have numbers. You'd think it would be easy to match up all of these numbers and find the right container. You wouldn't think it would take five hours.

Yet it does, almost every time. This is one of the reasons we rarely do container freight, but unfortunately, in order to get out of California, that's the only deal. It pays well for us, but every time we do it (it's almost like we forget the last experience), we look at each other and say, "Is it really worth the hassle?" That answer is always "No. Not even a little bit."

But it's like having a fight with a friend, who you think might have changed, so you give them another chance. And then they once again disappoint you. I have finally decided that container ports are not my friend. They're easy, non-backbreaking freight to haul, but I am not giving them another chance.

Today we got a juicy tidbit of information. We have previously, and repeatedly, been told that the reason they only allow one driver in the port at a time, is because of some Homeland Security bullshit. Even if you're a team, driving for the same company, on a load that REQUIRES a team to move it, only one person is allowed in the truck when it goes into the port. I guess the "terrorists" are being snuck in in the bunks of trucks. Whatever, freaks.

Today though, one of the forklift operators told Ed that is has nothing to do with security, it's really because the cranes. Apparently, with their limited line of vision, and the angle at which they pick up the containers and place them on the truck, they sometimes drop the containers on the cab of the truck. Now that's a big friggin' deal. So I guess it's okay for the person who is sitting in the driver's seat waiting to get loaded to get creamed, they just don't want to have two fatalities on their hands. Lovely. Of course, this information did come from a forklift operator, which automatically raises the "this is bullshit" flag.

I wonder how many times that has really happened though, if at all. I'll tell you what, I have no desire to give them a second chance to kill me. Apparently, we have now been warned.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Encased In Plastic
No Lifeguard On Duty
Palm Sketches
You Know Who You Are
I Fear The Family


Dreamybee said...

Puh-lease. If they were really concerned about security, they would inspect more than one out of every however many thousands of containers before allowing them into the port in the first place. The squished cab thing sounds a lot more plausible.

Gil said...

I wonder if this has something to do with the unions? I say this because when I worked for a mill in the 60s the only union members were the two drivers that drove to the docks in NYC.

Project Girl said...

I don't know why, but I love this post! Maybe because I've had similar experiences and it rang true!

Ms. Crawford said...

I am with Project Girl. I know you were writing this probably really pissed, but reading it, I cant stop laughing. "we have been warned" lol too funny. And thanks for the heads up on container ports.

Justice Bird said...

I've never been to a container port, but now I hate them. Ugh!!! Thank you for bringing them to my attention.