Source: Journal of Commerce
Date: 1st February 2022
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach — agreeing to a request from the White House — will resume charging a traffic mitigation fee (TMF) on Feb. 14 for daytime-only truck moves in a bid to encourage shippers to use off-hour gates as officials seek to reduce historic congestion at the US’ largest gateway.
The move, announced Tuesday, requires approval from the Federal Maritime Commission, so to allow time for the agency to act, shippers for the next two weeks will pay a reduced TMF on both daytime and nighttime truck moves.
LA-LB terminal operators on Nov. 10 agreed to implement a test program in which the TMF was raised to $78.23 per TEU ($156.46 per FEU) and charged only on daytime container moves for two months beginning Dec. 1. The test was to see if the higher fee pushed additional truck moves to off-hour gates.
The test period ended Monday, and while terminal operators say it resulted in no measurable evidence of a boost in nighttime truck activity, the port envoy asked the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to give the program more time to play out.
Under the so-called PierPass 2.0 model in 2018, shippers who cannot move most of their freight at night end up paying less for the daytime moves they have to make. Under that model, the fee was reduced to $34.21 per TEU, but was charged during both the day and night shifts.
When the PierPass OffPeak program was implemented in 2005, the goal was to push more truck moves to the 6 pm to 3 am shift when the ports and Southern California freeways are less congested. The original model, known now as PierPass 1.0, charged a fee on container moves during the 8 am to 5 pm shift, but waived the fee during the second shift.
In 2018, the West Coast MTO Agreement that administers the PierPass program cut the fee in half and began to charge it on container moves during both shifts.