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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PierPass to Adopt Appointment System and Flat Fee for OffPeak Program

LONG BEACH, Calif., April 16, 2018—PierPass will overhaul the model used by its OffPeak program for truck traffic mitigation at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, replacing the current congestion pricing model with an appointment-based system that uses a single flat fee on both daytime and nighttime container moves.

The members of the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA)—the 12 marine terminal operators at the two adjacent ports—reached the decision after an 18-month process of consultation with industry stakeholders, and an analysis and survey by industry consultants.

Port users have expressed a desire for changes to increase flexibility and reduce the bunching up of trucks that often occurs before the start of the nighttime OffPeak shifts. Subject to regulatory approval, the revised OffPeak program is expected to begin in August.

“The industry has been demanding ‘PierPass 2.0,’ and we are responding,” said PierPass President John Cushing. “The original OffPeak program was an innovative and highly effective solution to the challenges we faced in 2005. But it was fairly inflexible, whereas an appointment-based model is scalable and can evolve to meet changing industry needs, technology and practices.”

Under the current program, OffPeak charges a Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) on weekday daytime cargo moves to incentivize cargo owners to use OffPeak shifts on nights and Saturdays. The revised OffPeak program will replace this two-tier fee structure with a single flat TMF during both shifts, and use appointments to spread traffic across the two shifts.

Applying the TMF to both day and night cargo will allow a reduction of more than 55 percent in the TMF while still providing funding to operate extended gates. The current TMF of $72.09 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) will be replaced by a new flat fee of $31.52 per TEU; the rate for all other container sizes will be a flat fee of $63.04.

“The Port of Long Beach is pleased with the progress PierPass has made in working with industry stakeholders to improve night gate operations in our terminals,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “As ships are getting bigger and volumes increase, efficient gate management is critical to our ability to move cargo in a reliable, predictable and expedient manner.”

“I’m pleased and encouraged that PierPass members are taking a significant step forward to improve efficiencies at the San Pedro Bay port complex,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We, as well as the trucking community and all of our stakeholders, look forward to increased cargo velocity and customer responsiveness at Port facilities.”

The process of reviewing OffPeak alternatives has included a series of meetings beginning with an October 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. After a series of subsequent stakeholder meetings to delve into potential alternative models, PierPass retained industry consultants to conduct a detailed analysis. The consultants’ findings were presented and discussed at a follow-up industry workshop on March 8, 2018. WCMTOA members then worked through the remaining issues to arrive at the final plan for the revised OffPeak program.

“The California Trucking Association appreciates the proposal put forth by PierPass regarding its re-structuring of the TMF,” said Alex Cherin, Executive Director of the CTA Intermodal Conference. “This is the culmination of many collaborative discussions between the marine terminal operators and trucking communities over the last few years, and we look forward to supporting these efforts.”

“The HTA has worked hard with our marine terminal colleagues to create a more efficient and environmentally sustainable port complex,” said Weston LaBar, CEO of the Harbor Trucking Association. “This new direction for PierPass is another example of cross-industry collaboration and is a giant step in the right direction. It shows that the San Pedro Bay Port Complex will continue to be the preferred gateway for moving America’s cargo.”

A Q&A about the revised OffPeak program is available at http://wcmtoa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/WCMTOA-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 http://www.pierpass.org/about/extended-gates-review-process/.

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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.