Port of LA Long Beach OffPeak program will tackle chronic congestion

by Canadian Shipper

LONG BEACH, Calif-A new program that aims to reduce congestion at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach will begin on Saturday, July 23, 2005. Also confirmed were OffPeak’s night and weekend hours of operation and announced an accelerated rollout of the program, establishing five full-service shifts during the first week of operation.

Marine terminal operators at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports created PierPASS in 2004 in response to community and industry requests to address congestion and air quality issues in and around the ports. By providing a financial incentive for cargo operations on nights and weekends, OffPeak aims to reduce daytime truck trips and improve air quality.

The OffPeak shifts will be Monday through Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The first OffPeak shift will be Saturday, July 23. Beginning on Monday, July 25, PierPASS will assess a “Traffic Mitigation Fee” on all loaded containers entering or exiting marine terminal gates by road during peak daytime hours (Monday through Friday, 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.). The fee has been set at $40 per TEU (20-foot equivalent unit), or $80 for a 40-foot container.

“The establishment of the July 23 OffPeak launch date is a strong indication of our progress,” said PierPASS President and CEO Bruce Wargo. “After a period of intensive systems development, we are ready to implement this first-of-its-kind program. By using the existing transportation infrastructure more efficiently and shifting traffic out of peak commuting hours, OffPeak is a landmark effort to address chronic port congestion and air quality issues.”

PierPASS had initially planned for a ramp-up period, with off-peak shifts added gradually. However, the terminal operators have determined that launching all shifts during the first week will present fewer logistical challenges than a phased-in launch. The ramp-up period has now been eliminated; all 12 international container terminals at the two ports will now launch five full OffPeak shifts starting July 23.

PierPASS will not assess a fee for empty containers and chassis, domestic containers, or transshipment to other ports. Nor will it assess a fee for intermodal containers that depart or arrive via the Alameda Corridor for import or export, or that pay an ACTA fee. The beneficial cargo owners (shippers, consignees, or their agents) are responsible for payment of the fee. The trucking community and water carriers are not responsible for the payment.

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