TMF at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to Increase 4.2% on August 1

LONG BEACH, Calif., June 30, 2020—The West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) today announced that on August 1, 2020, the Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will increase by 4.2 percent. The adjustment matches the combined 4.2 percent increase in longshore wage and assessment rates that take effect in early July.

Beginning August 1, the TMF will be $33.47 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) or $66.94 for all other sizes of container. The TMF is charged on non-exempt containers. Containers exempt from the TMF include empty containers; import cargo or export cargo that transits the Alameda Corridor in a container and is subject to a fee imposed by the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority; and transshipment cargo. Empty chassis and bobtail trucks are also exempt.

The OffPeak program provides regularly scheduled night or Saturday shifts to handle trucks delivering and picking up containers at the 12 container terminals in the two adjacent ports. PierPass launched the OffPeak program in 2005 to reduce severe cargo-related congestion and air pollution on local streets and highways around the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. Nearly half of all port truck trips now take place during the off-peak shifts. The container terminal operators mitigate truck traffic at their gates with appointment systems that spread truck trips out over the hours of operation.

The TMF helps offset the cost of operating extended gate hours. Labor costs are the largest single component of extended gate costs.

According to an analysis by maritime industry consultants SC Analytics, the net costs incurred by the terminals to operate the off-peak shifts in 2019 totaled $262 million. During that year, the terminals received $223 million from the TMF, offsetting about 85 percent of the OffPeak program’s costs.

OffPeak 2.0 Begins Next Monday, Nov. 19

In one week, there will be significant changes to the OffPeak program.

When:  Monday, Nov. 19, 2018 subject to the conclusion of applicable Federal Maritime Commission procedures.

The Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) rate will be: $31.52 per 20-foot container, and $63.04 for all other sizes of containers.

The TMF will be applicable on all shifts, all days.

Registration: If not already registered in PierPass, register to pay the TMF at www.pierpass-tmf.org.

Payments: Pay the TMF at the same place payments are currently paid, at www.pierpass-tmf.org.

Exempt from the TMF will be:

  • Empty containers
  • Rail intermodal containers
  • Transshipped containers (cargo that arrives at the Port of Los Angeles or Long Beach on one vessel and leaves
    a second vessel without entering U.S. commerce)
  • Domestic cargo
  • Bare chassis

Appointments are required for all import containers.

Appointments are to be made with the terminal using their own terminal appointment system
See http://wcmtoa.org/appointment-systems/.

Common business rules:
As per WCMTOA Marine Terminal Schedule No. 1 and to include (1) two hour appointment windows and (2) the last appointment times of the day will be 3:30 p.m. on the first shift and 1:30 a.m. on the second shift.

FAQs: www.pierpass.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/QA-on-New-OffPeak-Program_10-11-18.pdf.

MTO contacts: www.wcmtoa.org/terminals/contacts/.

PierPass Members Add Common Business Rules to Terminal Appointment Systems

LONG BEACH, Calif., April 30, 2018—The members of the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA)—the 12 marine terminal operators at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach—have agreed to add common business rules for the appointment systems that will become part of the OffPeak program later this year. Subject to regulatory approval, the revised OffPeak program, which is administered by PierPass, is expected to begin in August.

The terminals agreed to add the common business rules—operational procedures that all terminals will follow—in response to requests from trucking companies and other stakeholders.

The new common business rules include an appointment window—the time span between the earliest and latest times a truck can arrive for an appointment, including grace periods—of two hours for all appointments. In addition, all terminals agreed that their last appointment times of the day will be 3:30 p.m. on the first shift and 1:30 a.m. on the second shift. The new business rules will take effect when the new program begins, and are expected to increase efficiencies for users when planning appointments at more than one terminal.

PierPass also clarified that the new system, which some have referred to as “PierPass 2.0,” won’t require appointments for individual import containers being picked up from peel-off piles. Trucking companies and cargo owners will continue to arrange for a single time window to pick up entire blocks of containers going to the same company or destination from a single container terminal.

Earlier this month, PierPass announced it will overhaul the system used by the OffPeak program for truck traffic mitigation at the two adjacent ports, replacing the current congestion pricing model with an appointment-based system that uses a single TEU-based flat fee on both daytime and nighttime container moves. The change has been welcomed by port leadership and by trucking industry associations as a way to improve flexibility and reduce the bunching up of trucks in late afternoons.

PierPass is scheduling a combined meeting of the PierPass Advisory Committee and Extended Gates Subcommittee in October. This will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to provide feedback and suggestions after implementation of the new system.

A Q&A about the revised OffPeak program is available at www.pierpass.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/QA-on-New-OffPeak-Program_4-16-18.pdf. The West Coast MTO Agreement is a discussion agreement filed with the FMC. For more information and to track continuing developments, please go to www.pierpass.org.

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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.

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PierPass Retains Tioga Group to Evaluate Extended Gate Options

LONG BEACH, Calif., Nov. 6, 2017—PierPass has retained the consulting firm The Tioga Group Inc. and its partner World Class Logistics (WCL) Consulting Inc. to evaluate alternative models for providing the traffic mitigation benefits of extended gates at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which are offered through the OffPeak program.

Tioga will analyze the traffic, commercial and operational impacts of two potential alternatives to the current model used by OffPeak, which mitigates traffic congestion caused by port truck operations through encouraging the pickup and delivery of containers on weeknights or Saturdays.

Tioga, based in Philadelphia, has extensive experience analyzing operational issues for North American freight transportation, producing reports including the Cargo Handling Cooperative Program’s “Improving Marine Container Terminal Productivity,” the National Cooperative Freight Research Program’s “Truck Drayage Productivity Guide,” and numerous planning studies for individual West Coast ports. WCL has deep experience working with cargo owners, ports, railroads and other goods movement groups.

The two alternatives under consideration are 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. Hybrid models may also be considered.

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. The TMF also helps pay for the labor and other costs of operating the OffPeak shifts. PierPass manages the OffPeak Program as the agent of the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA), comprised of the 12 marine terminal operators (MTOs) at the two adjacent ports. More than 40 million truck trips have been diverted out of weekday daytime traffic in the Los Angeles area since the program began in 2005, dramatically decreasing congestion on the region’s streets and highways.

Hiring Tioga is an important step in the process through which the WCMTOA members are working with other industry stakeholders to review alternative methods to provide the benefits of extended gates. An alternative model must continue to spread truck traffic across the terminals’ daytime and nighttime shifts of operation, while continuing to fund the operation of extended gates.

The process has included a series of meetings that began at a 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).

Participants have highlighted a range of operational and commercial issues for consideration. In early May, participants recommended hiring a consulting firm to conduct a detailed analysis of the two remaining options. An RFP was issued to four consulting firms recommended by the working groups. Members of the PPAC and EGS participated in the scoring process to assist WCMTOA with its final selection of Tioga. Recommendations and a final report are expected during the first quarter of 2018.

WCMTOA and PierPass Introduce New and Updated Websites

LONG BEACH, Calif., April 17, 2017—The West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) today announced it has introduced a new WCMTOA.org website and reorganized its existing PierPass.org website to better align information by program.

WCMTOA is a discussion agreement filed with the Federal Maritime Commission, and is made up of 13 container terminals in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. WCMTOA’s agent PierPass manages the OffPeak program, which provides extended gates for traffic mitigation, and the TruckTag program, which provides RFID tags that let trucks check into terminals securely and efficiently.

Previously, all information the terminals provided collectively was posted on the PierPass website. This included information on issues unrelated to PierPass programs, including container availability information and peel-off.

The new WCMTOA.org website provides information on the terminals and on WCMTOA issues other than those managed by PierPass. WCMTOA.org is now the place to go for:

  • Live terminal gate camera views
  • Terminal contact information
  • Appointment systems: Information on and links to the appointment systems managed by individual terminals
  • Peel-off: Information to help arrange peel-off with individual terminals
  • Container availability: Contact numbers to check the availability of individual containers
  • WCMTOA news
  • WCMTOA information, including WCMTOA’s Marine Terminal Schedule No. 1

PierPass.org will continue to be the place to go for information about the OffPeak program, the TruckTag Program, and for financial information about OffPeak. This includes:

  • OffPeak registration
  • Login for Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) payment
  • OffPeak news
  • Service updates, including holiday schedules and scheduled ILWU Stop Work Meetings
  • OffPeak gate schedules
  • Flex gate schedules
  • OffPeak FAQs
  • Information on how to purchase, install and manage TruckTags

“We believe the new websites will allow us to reduce confusion about which activities are undertaken by terminals acting individually, by terminals acting together under WCMTOA, or by PierPass in service of the OffPeak extended gates program,” said PierPass President John Cushing.

About WCMTOA
The West Coast MTO Agreement is filed with the Federal Maritime Commission. Members of the agreement comprise the 13 marine terminal operators (MTOs) serving the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which together form the largest port complex in North America. The marine terminal operators are private companies operating under lease agreements with the two ports, which are managed by the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

West Coast Terminals Shelve Chassis Fee but Affirm Right to Compensation for Services

Dear OffPeak Users,

The West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) today issued the following press release:

West Coast Terminals Shelve Chassis Fee but Affirm Right to Compensation for Services

LONG BEACH, Calif., Aug. 23, 2016 – The West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) today announced it has shelved plans to introduce a chassis services fee, as individual marine terminals negotiate directly with chassis leasing companies over hosting agreements.

WCMTOA’s member terminals affirm their right to seek compensation for the costly services they provide to chassis leasing companies at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. It costs terminals more than $200,000 per acre per year to lease land from the ports, and the terminals each have many acres stacked with chassis. This land could otherwise generate income for terminals by letting them process more containers, and would also let them manage containers more efficiently. Terminals have also been covering the cost of ILWU labor needed to stack, unstack and move the chassis, and the cost of the personnel, hardware and software needed to provide chassis usage data to the leasing companies.

In June, after two years of providing chassis management and storage to the leasing companies without reimbursement, WCMTOA announced a chassis services fee applying to chassis owners that receive services from WCMTOA’s marine terminal members. Since then, negotiations between individual terminals and some of the leasing companies have moved forward.

The leasing companies on Aug. 9 filed a Petition for an Order to Show Cause with the Federal Maritime Commission, seeking to avoid paying for the services they receive. The FMC on Aug. 16 asked interested parties to submit their views or arguments related to the Petition by Aug. 26. While it has shelved plans for the fee, WCMTOA intends to vigorously defend its position in its response to the Petition. WCMTOA members strongly believe the chassis owners must be responsible for covering the land, labor and technology costs the terminals incur on their behalf.

The West Coast MTO Agreement is filed with the Federal Maritime Commission, and comprises the 13 marine terminal operators serving the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.

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Terminals in Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach Move Start of Chassis Rule to September 1

LONG BEACH, Calif., Aug. 1, 2016 – The West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) has extended the implementation date of a new tariff rule for chassis services by one month until September 1. The rule applies to chassis owned by chassis leasing companies that receive services from WCMTOA’s marine terminal members at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The chassis system in the United States has been in flux for several years as shipping lines have moved away from providing the chassis (the truck trailer onto which containers are mounted) as part of their services. Since 2014, users in Los Angeles-Long Beach have arranged chassis directly with the leasing companies.

However, the terminals haven’t been compensated by the leasing companies for basic services provided such as storage space, stacking and unstacking the chassis, and electronic data interchange (which tells the chassis lessors who is using their chassis). Since the chassis leasing companies formed a “pool of pools” in early 2015, the terminals have been working with the leasing companies to address the compensation and services issues.

The new Rule 15 of WCMTOA’s Marine Terminal Schedule No. 1 describes the “On-Terminal Chassis Services” provided and establishes the “Chassis Services Fee.” The rule provides for a $5 fee each time a chassis enters or leaves the terminal, to cover the cost of services. The fee will be collected by PierPass on chassis with loaded or empty containers mounted, but not on bare chassis. MTO Schedule No. 1 is available at http://goo.gl/QihQ1u.

No fees will be charged for chassis that are owned directly by cargo owners or trucking companies, as these owners don’t require the services provided to leasing companies. Neither cargo owners or trucking companies need register their chassis under Rule 15.

Rule 15 was originally scheduled to take effect today, August 1. On Friday, PierPass informed the FMC that it was extending the start date to September 1, giving the leasing companies additional time to implement the change without impacting cargo flow in the ports.

The West Coast MTO Agreement is filed with the Federal Maritime Commission, and comprises the 13 marine terminal operators serving the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.

###

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.

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Majority of Terminals Operating Truck Gates Through Lunch & Shift Changes, as GGS Adds Saturday Shift

Dear Users of OffPeak Gates,

As you may know, congestion at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has increased over the past several months amid disruptions in the supply of chassis and other factors. The marine terminal operators, while not owning chassis themselves, have been working with other key parties including chassis leasing companies to help mitigate the problems. The chassis disruptions have been compounded by ocean carrier alliances that are dispersing cargo among more terminals, the arrival of larger ships, a shortage of rail cars and locomotives, and the struggles of trucking companies to retain drivers.

In the meantime, the terminals continue providing additional labor to ensure sufficient capacity at the truck gates. The majority of the 13 international container terminals at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports are keeping truck gates open during lunch hours and shift changes. As the accompanying schedule of relief and flex gates shows, 77% of the terminals are hiring additional labor to keep terminal gates open during the day shift’s contractually-mandated lunch hour from noon to 1:00 p.m., while 85% are keeping gates open during the OffPeak shift’s 10 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. dinner hour.

Terminals are also opening gates early in the morning (flex gates) and keeping them open between shifts. Ten of the 13 terminals (77%) are running truck gates between the end of the day shift at 5:00 p.m. and the start of the OffPeak shift at 6:00 p.m., while eight (61%) are opening an hour before the 8 a.m. start of the day shift.

In addition, terminals continue to adjust OffPeak shift availability to meet demand. Beginning on Saturday Oct. 25, Global Gateway South (GGS) terminal at the Port of Los Angeles will begin offering an OffPeak shift during the daytime on Saturdays, bringing the total number of terminals operating Saturdays to eight. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights each have 12 terminals open to trucks, while all terminals are currently open Tuesday nights.

While we anticipate congestion will ease somewhat as the peak season passes, we expect it will take several months for the chassis situation to significantly improve. Although the current delays aren’t due to availability of truck gates, the terminals are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to adjust gate hours as needed.

Regards,

John Cushing
President, PierPass Inc.

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