Delay at Ports

Trucks were backed up for miles, unable to deliver their loads to the Georgia Ports. Truckers sat for hours this morning on State Route 307, from the Garden City Terminal all the way to State Route 21. For every minute the truckers waited, in what was virtually a parking lot, they lost money, and they want to know what caused the delay. Of course, where there was traffic for truckers, there was traffic for all travelers today along those highways in west Chatham County.

Truck drivers making their daily drive through the port gates found themselves stuck for hours at a time. Port officials blamed computer problems.

"When the system does experience difficulties, which it never has before by the way, things do back up, because we do have such a technologically advanced system," said Robert Morris of the Georgia Ports Authority.

But truck drivers say the gridlock happens more often than not, as many as four or five times a month according to one we spoke with. It's no secret the port has had about an 18 percent increase in business, business for which many of these drivers feel the port isn't ready.

"Been getting worse," said trucker Steve McKain. "Only thing I can figure is the port just can't handle the influx of containers."

And the more they sit and wait, the less money they make.

"For three hours, they sit and they're making 30, 40 dollars, so they're losing, losing everything," said union representative Jim Stewart. "And at Christmas, it's just the worst time for this to be happening."

But it's not just the truck drivers who take the hit. Vincent Hogan's family owns several trucking businesses. Today he was out taking pictures to show his clients, who he fears may pull their contracts if shipments are late.

"It's really is hard for us, my family is feeling it right now, the whole industry is feeling it right now," he said.

Reported by: Elizabeth Garcia, egarcia@wtoc.com