Marine Atlantic makes changes to commercial reservations system

Staff ~ The Telegram
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Marine Atlantic today announced several changes to its commercial reservations system it says will better serve the commercial trucking industry and its customers.
According to a news release, the corporation committed to a review of the commercial reservations system two months after implementation, which ended May 15. The three-week review has resulted in changes to cancellation and check-in times, and the fee structure.
The corporation says it is also set to implement the online application of the commercial reservations system that will result in improvements to the timely availability of bookings, the ease of making reservations, and the timeframes for commercial customer check-in.
Don Barnes, vice-president of customer experience, said Marine Atlantic has received positive feedback from the bulk of its commercial customer base, and from their customers.
Predictable pick-up and delivery times, improved driver schedules, better utilization of units and reduced delivery time for time sensitive and perishable products have all been reported by users of the system, he said.
Barnes said feedback and input from all sectors formed the basis of the review of the system, and was instrumental in identifying the changes being made.
"We recognize that there have been serious issues raised, especially from the smaller carriers," he said. "We understand the challenges they face, and are making these adjustments primarily to address their concerns."
Concern has focused on difficulty in securing a timely booking and the administrative impact of the system.
The online system for commercial reservations will be available effective Monday, June 21.
Marine Atlantic is also increasing the cut-off time for reservation changes and cancellations to 24 hours prior to scheduled departure, effective June 21.
"By extending the lead time for cancellations, the smaller and independent carriers will have more timely access to bookings," Barnes said. "The independent truckers have told us that their biggest challenge is getting a booking at short notice, because much of their business is secured in the last 12 to 24 hours. This change means a significant improvement for them."
The establishment of a waitlist has also been an issue raised by smaller carriers and Barnes noted Marine Atlantic is developing a waitlist application for the system and intend to have it in place as soon as possible, hopefully in early July.
Check-in times for commercial units are also changing.
"We have determined that we can reduce the check-in times for tractor trailer and drop trailer units without affecting our ability to load the vessels and sail on time," Barnes said.
"As of June 21, the check-in time for tractor trailers will be reduced from three hours to two, and from five hours to four hours for drop trailers."
This change does not include oversized units or those carrying hazardous goods or livestock; adjustments in booking times for dangerous goods and check-in times for livestock had been put in place earlier.

Organizations: Marine Atlantic

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Recent comments

  • aubrey
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Quit a contrast to the attitude of the CEO some weeks ago who claimed all was in place and fixed for perpetuity .It is good to realize that saner voices prevailed.If you can 't run a service to suit all stakeholders dependent on that ferry service, you will perhaps only be serving the hug egos of the management board .That would be acceptable it it were a private venture until bankruptcy set in , but we are talking about a guaranteed public serve that assured Newfoundland in federal -provincial negotiations quality service at an acceptable cost . So let's regard this not as a victory for NFLD but as a setback for those who would undo past negotiations , namely the executive board. This attitude must always be with all Newfoundlanders and other stakeholders because there are still greater inflated executive egos to come that will require future pricking .

  • don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Apparently, Marine Atlantic is completely out of touch with reality. These changes may improve the situation somewhat. I recently spoke with a friend of mine who is traveling to Newfoundland on business this summer. Apparently, Marine Atlantic is using the SMALLWOOD on the run between North Sydney,NS and Argentia, NL. The SMALLWOOD has 32 cabins and my friend cannot get a cabin to sleep in during the 16 to 18 hour crossing. What is the problem with using the ATLANTIC VISION which has over 200 cabins on the Argentia run? Tourists don't want a bed to sleep in on board during a 4 or 5 hour daytime crossing to Port-aux-basques. What is going on here? I am beginning to think that the ATLANTIC VISION cannot be used on the open ocean!

  • aubrey
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    Quit a contrast to the attitude of the CEO some weeks ago who claimed all was in place and fixed for perpetuity .It is good to realize that saner voices prevailed.If you can 't run a service to suit all stakeholders dependent on that ferry service, you will perhaps only be serving the hug egos of the management board .That would be acceptable it it were a private venture until bankruptcy set in , but we are talking about a guaranteed public serve that assured Newfoundland in federal -provincial negotiations quality service at an acceptable cost . So let's regard this not as a victory for NFLD but as a setback for those who would undo past negotiations , namely the executive board. This attitude must always be with all Newfoundlanders and other stakeholders because there are still greater inflated executive egos to come that will require future pricking .

  • don
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    Apparently, Marine Atlantic is completely out of touch with reality. These changes may improve the situation somewhat. I recently spoke with a friend of mine who is traveling to Newfoundland on business this summer. Apparently, Marine Atlantic is using the SMALLWOOD on the run between North Sydney,NS and Argentia, NL. The SMALLWOOD has 32 cabins and my friend cannot get a cabin to sleep in during the 16 to 18 hour crossing. What is the problem with using the ATLANTIC VISION which has over 200 cabins on the Argentia run? Tourists don't want a bed to sleep in on board during a 4 or 5 hour daytime crossing to Port-aux-basques. What is going on here? I am beginning to think that the ATLANTIC VISION cannot be used on the open ocean!