The GPS navigation took me closer and closer to the New York shore as I drove past what seemed like miles of intermodal containers that were sometimes stacked so high that they blocked out the sunlight. I’ve been to many different shipping docks and intermodal container freight facilities, but this was by far the largest yet.
I’ve also spent hours watching large moving equipment transfer containers from storage and transfer yards onto railcars or trucks. It is actually pretty fascinating (at least to me) to watch how precisely operators can pick up these huge, heavy metal boxes and place them delicately on a trailer or railcar without dropping them.
I also realized before I made the trip to visit one of the largest inbound container freight terminals on the east coast that I was definitely going to see a lot of big metal boxes. Yet each time I see what seems like an infinite number of containers lined up, I am still awestruck at the sheer volume of international trade these containers represent. And I’m reminded of the logistics involved with getting each one of those containers from point A to point B.
As I watched more than 40 trucks enter and leave through what I’ll describe as a giant version of a toll booth, I quickly realized that for this facility, logistics is more than just barcodes and manifests. It also involves a lot of maintenance and repair folks like the ones that were visiting to keep all of those machines and equipment running.
During a recent environmental audit, the maintenance department was encouraged to find better ways to manage fluids in their storage and waste collection areas. They reached out to us for recommendations and best practices to help them keep everything contained and compliant. Because of their close proximity to the ocean, preventing leaks and spills from entering the storm drains that lead directly to the ocean was a primary concern.
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