After four days of long wait times at the Wando Welch Port Terminals that infuriated truckers, the South Carolina Department of Transportation stepped in to assist with the extensive traffic backups.
Software Glitches Blamed For Hours-Long Wait Times
Truckers are reporting four hour delays at the terminal — delays that are causing serious Hours of Service compliance issues. Said one driver, “We’re just fed up at the way we’ve been treated because we shouldn’t have to wait that long.”
The long wait times at the Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, terminal have been blamed on glitches in a new computer system. The volume of truck traffic at the terminal has caused software glitches that require the system to be reset. On Thursday, a glitch caused the system to be offline for about 90 minutes while it was reset — and the six hundred trucks that would normally pass through the system in that time simply backed up.
Truckers Without Gate Codes Contributing To Long Waits
Adding to the glitchy technology problem is a gate code issue — when truckers show up without a gate code, they have to call dispatch to get one, which is also contributing to the long wait times. On Tuesday, for example, 600 trucks showed up at the terminal without a gate code.
SC Ports Authority President Jim Newsome blamed the long wait times on a learning curve: “That’s nobody’s fault. The truckers have to learn. Our folks using the system have to learn.”
City Is Crippled By “Truckmageddeon” Traffic Jam
Mount Pleasant residents say that local businesses have basically been shut down because of the traffic nightmare created by the problems at the port. Residents say that they have had to cancel appointments. A restaurant near the port that normally serves 2,000 people for lunch has been serving only about 300 people.
Yesterday, traffic became so backed up that police did not allow trucks bound for the port on Long Point Road for about an hour to give local traffic a chance to pass through. This caused a domino-effect backup for the trucks waiting to get into the terminal.
Transportation Authorities Looking For Solutions
The port has extended their hours to try to help with the backup of trucks. The port will also be open Saturday and Sunday.
Today, SCDOT announced a plan to help with traffic on I-526 at Long Point Road. They are keeping port-bound truck traffic in the right lane and non port bound traffic in the left lane. Police are reportedly only letting 10-15 trucks onto Long Port Road at a time, leaving the rest to wait along the emergency lane of I-526.
Newsome apologized for the backups: “I’m really sorry for the impact on the truckers and on all the businesses on Long Point Road and the residents in Mount Pleasant because it’s a huge pain for them, and it’s costing truckers money.”
You can watch video filmed by one of the drivers stuck in line at the port below.
— Michael Ferrer (@MikeFerrerCCIM) June 21, 2016