West Coast Cargo Stakeholders Review PierPass Extended Gate Alternatives

SAN PEDRO, Calif., March 12, 2018 – More than 60 supply chain leaders gathered on March 8 to review the findings of an analysis of options for extended gate hours at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The Tioga Group Inc. and World Class Logistics (WCL) Consulting Inc. presented the results of their evaluation of two potential alternatives to the current model used under the OffPeak program managed by PierPass. Since 2005, the OffPeak program has mitigated traffic congestion caused by port truck operations by enabling and encouraging the pickup and delivery of containers on weeknights or Saturdays.

The two alternatives the study considered were appointments to control traffic flow, combined with a flat fee on both daytime and nighttime cargo moves; and port-wide peel-off, in which trucks would operate like taxis in an airport queue, each truck picking up the next container in the stack, providing minimal turn times.

Among the findings of the Tioga/WCL study were:

  • Appointment systems are a more effective way to manage truck flow and terminal workload
  • The current incentive fee on Peak (daytime) containers moves could be replaced with a flat fee on both days and nights to function better with appointment systems and eliminate issues related to the shift change
  • While a port-wide peel-off system received little support from truckers and cargo owners, integrating a conventional peel-off option along with an appointment system would give terminals an additional tool to reduce turn times and accelerate the velocity of freight

The March 8 Tioga/WCL presentation is available at http://wcmtoa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/PierPass_Ext_Gates_Analysis_March2018.pdf.

The members of the West Coast MTO Agreement (WMCTOA) – the 12 marine terminal operators at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports – will now review the recommendations and feedback from the March 8 meeting participants and determine how to proceed. A decision is expected to be announced within several weeks.

WCMTOA’s agent PierPass launched the OffPeak program in 2005 to reduce severe cargo-related congestion on local streets and highways around the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. Using a congestion pricing model, PierPass charges a Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) on weekday daytime cargo moves to incentivize cargo owners to use the OffPeak shifts on nights and Saturdays. Proceeds from the TMF help offset increased labor and other costs associated with operating the OffPeak shifts.

More than 40 million truck trips have been diverted out of weekday daytime traffic in the Los Angeles area since the program began, dramatically decreasing congestion on the region’s streets and highways and contributing to the clean air initiatives of the ports and the State of California.

While the OffPeak program has been very successful in meeting its goal, port users have expressed a desire for changes – which some have called “PierPass 2.0” – to increase flexibility and to address the bunching up of trucks that often occurs before the start of the OffPeak shifts.

The process of reviewing OffPeak alternatives has included a series of meetings beginning with an Oct. 2016 workshop where WCMTOA met with more than 70 leaders representing importers, exporters, trucking companies, logistics providers, elected officials, government representatives, port authorities and other supply chain stakeholders. Subsequent meetings to address the issues surrounding the alternative models were held with the 40 supply chain stakeholders who together comprise the PierPass Advisory Committee (PPAC) and the Extended Gates Subcommittee (EGS). The Tioga study was one of the outcomes of this process.

The West Coast MTO Agreement is filed with the Federal Maritime Commission. For more information and to track continuing developments, please go to www.pierpass.org.

###

PierPass Briefs Washington Regulators and Shipper Associations

Dear Users of OffPeak Gates,

PierPass Inc. issued the following press release this morning:

PierPass Briefs Washington Regulators and Shipper Associations

LONG BEACH, Calif., November 23, 2015—PierPass Inc. and marine terminal operator leaders conducted a series of meetings in Washington, DC last week with the Federal Maritime Commission chairman, commissioners and staff. The meetings reviewed how conditions at the marine terminals in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have rebounded strongly since the congestion crisis a year ago.

The 13 container terminals continue to provide extensive availability of service to cargo owners moving their containers through the two adjacent ports. The terminals provided an average of 82 hours per week of truck gates in August, 84 hours per week in September, and 82 hours per week in October.

These hours of service include daytime gates Monday through Friday; four to five OffPeak gates on nights and Saturdays; flex gates, where terminals hire extra labor to open before the start of a regular shift or remain open during contractually-mandated meal breaks; and ad-hoc gates, where terminals open up for an extra night or weekend to accommodate customer needs.

Improved Cargo Velocity

The time it takes for terminals to retrieve and load import containers onto trucks or receive export containers from trucks is down sharply from its peak a year ago. Cargo is moving through the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach at velocities not seen since the first half of 2014, before the congestion experienced during the second half of 2014.

For trucks picking up or dropping off containers at port terminals, in-terminal turn time in October averaged 48.3 minutes on OffPeak shifts, the lowest it has been since August 2014. Daytime in-terminal turn time in October averaged 46.3 minutes, the second-lowest it has been since June 2014. That is a significant drop from late 2014 through early 2015, when daytime and OffPeak turn times exceeded 60 minutes in some months.

Washington Delegation Reviews OffPeak Costs with FMC

The delegation from PierPass and terminal operators also used the meetings with the FMC as an opportunity to review the finances of PierPass Inc. and the OffPeak program. PierPass recently published an in-depth review of the methodology it uses to calculate the cost for the terminals to operate the OffPeak gates. The review is available at http://wcmtoa.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/PierPass-Financial-Overview_10-21-2015.pdf. The document also reviews the methodology used to audit PierPass Inc.

Meetings with Shippers Associations

While in Washington, the delegation provided similar updates to trade associations representing cargo owners, including the Agriculture Transportation Coalition, the National Retail Federation, the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Waterfront Coalition.

“These shipper meetings continue the extensive and ongoing outreach that the marine terminal operators and PierPass conduct with industry partners,” said PierPass Inc. President John Cushing.

Among other activities, the terminal operators and PierPass participate in the Supply Chain Optimization initiative of the two ports, working with cargo owners, trucking companies, various associations and the ports to share information and initiate programs.

About PierPass
PierPass is a not-for-profit company created by marine terminal operators at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach to address multi-terminal issues such as congestion, air quality and security. To learn what it takes for a truck to drop off or pick up a container at a marine terminal, please see http://youtu.be/P9IJN1yIIJ4. For additional information, please see www.pierpass.org.

# # #

PierPass Names John Cushing as President

LONG BEACH, Calif., September 17, 2014 – PierPass Inc. has named as its new president John Cushing, a veteran transportation industry executive and leader.

Mr. Cushing’s role gives him responsibility for PierPass programs to relieve congestion and improve air quality at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Mr. Cushing takes over the role of president from Bruce Wargo, who has led PierPass since its founding in 2004 and remains CEO.

Mr. Cushing founded eModal in 1999 and served as its president through 2009. Under his leadership, eModal developed widely used online services to coordinate activities between marine terminals and trucking companies, beneficial cargo owners, and others in the supply chain. Mr. Cushing grew eModal into the nation’s largest port community system, used at 41 marine terminals in 14 ports on both U.S. coasts.

From 2009 through 2013, Mr. Cushing led development of SSIT, a greenfield container terminal project on the Cai Mep River in the south of Vietnam. Since returning to southern California, Mr. Cushing has been involved in various maritime business development projects, both domestically and internationally.

Mr. Cushing’s extensive experience in the transportation industry began when he worked as a steamship line agent with Barwil Agencies. Later, as marketing manager at the Port of Los Angeles, Mr. Cushing helped establish the Port’s heavy container corridor, including leading the effort to pass a state law enabling the corridor. Other initiatives included his role in developing the Port’s first on-dock intermodal facility.

“John’s leadership in services for terminal operators, trucking companies and cargo owners, along with his experience developing and managing a new international container terminal, put PierPass and the OffPeak Program in able hands,” Mr. Wargo said. Mr. Wargo has taken on the additional role of PierPass board chairman.

Under the OffPeak program, the 13 international container terminals at the two adjacent ports operate additional shifts on nights and Saturdays. Since 2005, PierPass OffPeak gates have grown to handle about 55 percent of daily truck-borne container traffic at the ports, diverting more than 30 million truck trips from weekday, daytime traffic in Los Angeles and Long Beach. OffPeak has greatly eased congestion on city streets and nearby freeways, and has reduced emissions from trucks idling outside of terminals and in traffic.