Customer Advisory: VBS Booking slots

14 AUGUST 2015

It has been six weeks since the implementation of the VBS at Napier Port and all transport operators are using the system to book container movements to and from the Port. Thanks for the positive engagement to the new system.

During the implementation period, the Port has not enforced any hard rules or policies. This was to help ensure all operators had time to adjust to the new system and that the rollout did not adversely impact the flows of cargo during the high season.

As we are all aware, VBS was implemented to provide visibility of demand so we can provide consistency and certainty of service with all available resource matching supply with demand.

A review of the booking activity has shown that in general, transport operators are not using the system to plan or communicate their future requirements, but are effectively making bookings as the vehicle arrives at the Port. This does not allow the operations team to match the resource to the demand and has led to hoists being idle at certain times and also vehicles being turned away at the gate at other times, leading to waste for both transport operators and the Port.

From Monday 17 August, all bookings will be locked down at the beginning of the arrival time. If you have not booked before the beginning of the hour, you can’t come in within the hour. You will need to secure a booking for a period following the hour. It is important to note that 70 percent of all current bookings are made inside the current time zone. Therefore, we understand a fundamental shift in planning visits to the Port will be required.

As you can appreciate, we are trying to work with transport operators to ensure that they can adjust to the system. We have not applied a prior day cut-off which would be the preferred option to ensure absolute certainty of service. It is vital that we work towards proactive booking of vehicles prior to next season to ensure we can meet your needs. We reserve the right to apply further measures to ensure we can meet your needs into the future.

We understand that from time to time a transport operator will have an urgent request and will always try to work then to overcome this. However, this should be in exceptional circumstances.

In summary:

If you have any questions, please contact Gareth Jones on +64 6 8334681 or email,; or Andrew Donnelly on +64 6 833 4570  or email