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.

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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One Year After Congestion Crisis, Peak Season Cargo Moves Smoothly

PierPass September News and Updates

One year ago, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach were entering a period of severe congestion. As we reach the height of this year’s peak season, cargo is flowing much more smoothly through the 13 member container terminals of PierPass.

There is no line of ships stacked up in the harbor waiting to dock. Container dwell time (the time an import container waits to be picked up) is down to about three days from five to six last fall. In-terminal truck turn times for single transactions, while up slightly in August, remain well below the peak of 61 minutes in November 2014.

Terminal yards have enough open yard space to operate normally; one large terminal operator puts the “utilization” rate – the percentage of yard space occupied by container stacks – at a normal 70%, down from more than 95% last winter.

The worst of the congestion was over by late February, when cargo throughput snapped back sharply after the labor deal was reached on February 20. While conditions often tighten up during the peak season as retailers prepare for the holidays, 2015 has seen no seasonal increase in congestion.

This isn’t to say all issues have been resolved. While chassis availability has improved since the leasing companies formed a “pool of pools” in March, chassis shortages remain an ongoing concern. PierPass and its member container terminals, along with other stakeholders at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach Supply Chain Optimization meeting recently identified chassis, and in particular lengthy street dwell times, as the issue that could bring the ports back into a state of congestion.

With larger ships arriving and cargo volumes once again approaching their 2006 peak, the goods movement industry needs to continue innovating new methods to move cargo more quickly. The terminals, among other steps, are increasingly moving toward appointment systems to spread out truck arrivals, and continue working with stakeholders to increase the use of the “free flow” process to rapidly deliver stacks of containers to a single owner or trucking company.

PierPass Monthly Transaction Data
Each month we provide a summary of the latest transaction data from marine terminal operators (MTOs) at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach. Below please find data from the month of August 2015.

Average in-terminal turn time:
49.2 minutes day shift
51.4 minutes night shift

For comparison, the average in-terminal turn time in July 2015 was 48.1 minutes for the day shift and 49.2 minutes for the night shift.

In-terminal turn time is the average amount of time a truck is inside a terminal to complete a transaction. Truck activity information is derived from RFID data, and excludes lunch hour, breaks and trouble tickets. Turn time at individual terminals will vary depending on time of day and other factors. For more information about turn times and how we measure them, please see our Q&A at http://goo.gl/PiOjBp.

Average daily moves per truck for frequent callers* in August:
5 or moves per day: 8%
4 moves per day: 14%
3 moves per day: 29%
2 moves per day: 32%
1 move per day: 17%

*The ports define frequent callers as trucks making one or more moves per weekday. Average moves per day by frequent callers tells us how many moves a truck can make if it is working every day. In August, 22% of frequent callers made four or more moves per day.

Gate moves during Peak and OffPeak/exempt shifts in August:
Total Peak gate moves: 381,694 (56%)
Total OffPeak/Exempt gate moves: 302,979 (44%)

The number of unique trucks calling on the ports in August was 12,395.

A gate move occurs when a container enters or leaves a marine terminal via the truck gates. Peak shifts are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. OffPeak shifts are Monday through Friday, 6:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m., and Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday night and Sunday shifts, which are not regularly scheduled, are considered “exempt.”

Note:
Terminals were closed for the OffPeak shift on August 6 for an ILWU Stop Work meeting.

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.

 

PierPass Names Kevin Recker as Chief Financial Officer

LONG BEACH, Calif., August 10, 2015 – PierPass Inc. today named Kevin Recker as its Chief Financial Officer. In the position, Recker is responsible for financial management and accounting for PierPass, including oversight of the OffPeak program, which manages the night and Saturday truck gates at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach.

Recker comes to PierPass after serving as Director of Accounting at International Transportation Service Inc. (ITS), which operates marine container terminals at the Ports of Long Beach and Tacoma. He has also served in senior accounting and audit positions at the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce, Panasonic Disc Services Corp., and with public accounting firms. Recker earned his Bachelor of Science degree from California State University, Long Beach, in Business Administration and Accountancy, and is a Certified Public Accountant.

“Kevin’s career in both public and private accounting and his experience in the maritime industry bring the necessary skills to hit the track running as PierPass’s new CFO,” said PierPass President John Cushing.

Recker will replace Tom Stephenson, who is retiring after more than 10 years in the position.

“I would like to express my gratitude to Tom Stephenson, who was instrumental in getting the PierPass accounting and finance program off the ground and in guiding the program through a decade of efficient and effective operations,” Cushing said.

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.

Flex Gate Schedule_current.image

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.