Import Free Flow Business Process – Get your cargo moving

Posted on: November 23, 2021

We would like to bounce an idea off of our readers.

What if we could together work, with the container terminals, to move your containers out of the terminals within 4 – 5 working days after vessel arrival? This is what the mega importers have been doing since at least 2015.

Right now, 12 of the 13 terminals in Los Angeles / Long Beach have a program called Peel Off Stacks or Free Flow Import. These special container stacks are for a specific importer and each container must be ready to go out of the gate before it can be added to the stack.

The importer has to have over 75 containers per vessel to qualify. The trucker does not need an appointment and uses an express lane called the Import Free Flow Lane. No lining up and no waiting.

The trucker goes to the importer’s Peel Off Stack and the terminal loads the next container on to the trucker’s chassis. The Terminal Out Gate registers the container number and associates it with the trucker and marks it as Picked Up.

The trucker can then call or text the warehouse with the container number and estimated ETA.

How can we work together to make this same program work for you and your customers? Remember when we wrote about the multi-tenant concept this past summer? Trade Tech can be the aggregator of all of our various customers’ shipments in order to qualify for our own peel off stack. This is the master loader / co-loader concept but applied to container pickups at the terminals.

Trade Tech will run a report for each vessel destined to Los Angeles / Long Beach to determine if there are enough containers for that sailing to qualify. If there are, Trade Tech will contact each of you with cargo on that ship to ask if you want to participate.

Trade Tech will then give the container terminal a list of containers for our own designated peel off stack.

Each customer will see only their own containers and container information. This information would not be shared with any other party, but we could make our software work for you so that as a group, we can act at the same level as the biggest importers.

There are a number of details on the process, but this is the general plan. Our question to you “Is this interesting? Would you and your customers be willing to work with us to get your containers flowing more quickly out of the terminals in Los Angeles and Long Beach?”

Please let us know. We are eager to hear your feedback. Please write back to or contact us here.

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