Post-Strike Update

As we come out of a terrible strike situation, with 9 of the 13 container terminals having been closed to receiving of export cargo and delivery of import cargo for over a week, we will be facing some very real operational challenges in order to get the cargo moving again. Marine terminal operators are committed to facilitating this effort.

Terminal operators are undertaking a series of efforts to help customers get caught up on cargo moves through the port. These efforts include:

  • Flex-starting the gates one hour prior to the evening shift start to help get trucks in and out of the gates
  • Adding additional labor to relieve gate operations for continuous receipt and delivery of trucks during breaks and lunch hours
  • Adding extra OffPeak shifts

These changes will begin immediately and continue until the backlog of containers is addressed. Please check the PierPass web sites www.pierpass.org and www.pierpass-tmf.org for the current OffPeak Schedule.

WORKING TOGETHER TO AVOID CONGESTION

Terminals are currently uncongested. In the coming days, as waiting ships and trains arrive, we expect congestion to temporarily increase. As described above, the terminals are adding flex gates, additional labor and extra shifts to maximize throughput and quickly work through any backlog.

To minimize delays at the terminals and avoid trouble tickets, PierPass urges trucking companies and drivers to check the availability of import containers or the validity of export booking numbers before coming to the terminal. All terminals have web-based availability systems that allow dispatchers and cargo owners to double-check before prematurely sending a trucker to the terminal. They can also use eModal.com.

In addition, truckers can check gate conditions in real time through the live gate cams at http://pierpass.org/live/.

OFFPEAK NIGHT GATES GREATLY REDUCE CONGESTION

Some cargo interests have asked PierPass to temporarily suspend the Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) while the backlog is cleared. The terminal operators have evaluated and rejected the idea, which we believe could greatly increase congestion in the short term and risk undermining OffPeak’s long-term solution to port congestion.

The TMF supports the OffPeak night and Saturday shifts that ease the strain of port operation on local communities. OffPeak shifts handle an average of 75,000 truck trips in a typical week, or about 55% of container moves. If the OffPeak shifts were eliminated, most of these trips would take place in peak daytime traffic, causing heavy congestion and increasing air pollution.

The TMF, which is charged on daytime container moves, provides an incentive for cargo to move at night, and pays for most of the night and Saturday OffPeak gates. OffPeak helps to spread traffic across more hours, makes better use of valuable port assets, reduces the uncertainty of delivery times, improves turn time for trucks and drivers, and reduces traffic on local highways during commute hours.

The program has worked very effectively for over eight years, mitigating the congestion at the terminals and in and around neighborhoods and freeways with no city, state or federal subsidies. Since 2005, more than 21 million truck moves have taken place during OffPeak hours. In keeping days and nights open for trucks, our ports are more effective and productive.

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PierPass Trouble Ticket Report #2 – ITS

In a previous News and Updates Newsletter, we talked about the unfortunate issue of the “trouble ticket”, how it affects truck drivers, and why we feel it is an important problem to resolve.  When a truck driver is sidelined at a container terminal due to a trouble ticket problem, it can delay the driver for an hour or more, depending on the issue.  Trouble tickets happen at all the terminals, and in most cases can be avoided with a little pre-arrival work to ensure the driver has correct information before going to the terminal.  We want to do our best to communicate how this issue effects all stakeholders in the movement of containers, so that steps can be taken to avoid trouble tickets.

We pointed out in our previous report that there are tools available to help avoid trouble tickets and the delays they create for the drayman.  We encourage all trucking companies to review their procedures and make sure they check the terminal computer systems or eModal.com for the import availability and export booking numbers before sending the driver to the terminal.

In this month’s example from International Transportation Service (ITS) Long Beach, Manager Bill Cologne discusses trouble tickets from his terminal’s experience and offers suggestions on how to avoid trouble ticket delays.

Bruce Wargo

PierPass, Inc.

Terminal Example:

For ITS, almost 6% of the truck drivers are issued a Driver Assistance Ticket or Trouble Ticket, which is about 1,600 drivers each month.  Most trouble ticket transactions are eventually resolved, however, many can be avoided altogether.  Trouble tickets make all the stakeholders less efficient and are costly for all those involved.  Not only does the driver wait for the problem to be resolved, but the terminal staff has to spend time involved in the resolution process, further adding to the cost and inefficiency.  Additionally, the cargo owner is delayed in receiving or delivering the container.

At ITS, we want all truckers and trucking companies to have a productive and efficient experience.  It is important to our own operation as well as the trucking company to make sure trucks arrive and depart in as timely a manner as possible.  Trouble tickets are something we can work together on reducing in order to improve the current experience.  We have included below a two month example of the trouble tickets generated for imports and exports only.

Below is the breakdown for the top 6 trouble ticket categories that occured in September and October, 2012:

  • Container is on Import TMF hold – 1121
  • Booking is on Export TMF hold – 752
  • Booking Number is Invalid – 367
  • Pin number is invalid for Import Pick-up – 317
  • Container is on Hold – 219
  • Booking is Full – 176

The numbers show that from this 2 month period, 51% of the trouble tickets involved import containers and 40% were related to export booking number problems.  Many of these could have been avoided by first checking the terminal system for the availability of import containers and export booking numbers.  You can do this by going to our website or calling our customer service numbers.

PierPass November News and Updates

PierPass Monthly Transaction Data  

As part of our monthly newsletters 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 October 2012.

Truck activity information derived from RFID data.

Average in-terminal turn time:

  • 36.1 minutes day shift
  • 39.9 minutes night shift
    (Excluding lunch hour, breaks and trouble tickets)

In-terminal turn time is the average amount of time a truck is inside a terminal to complete a transaction. Turn time at individual terminals will vary depending on time of day and other factors. The average in-terminal turn time in September 2012 was 37.9 minutes for the day shift and 40.9 minutes for the night shift.

Frequent callers* average moves per day:

  • 12% trucks 5 or moves per day
  • 21% trucks 4 moves per day
  • 30% trucks 3 moves per day
  • 23% trucks 2 moves per day
  • 14% trucks 1 move per day

*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 September 2012, 37 percent of frequent callers made four or more moves per day.

Day vs. Night Gates:

  • Average number of day gate moves: 15,261
  • Average number of night gate moves: 16,864
  • Number of day shifts open: 27
  • Number of night shifts open: 18

Approximately 8,500 trucks regularly service the POLA/POLB.

Note:

  • Closed one night for Stop Work Meeting.
  • Terminal operators continue to monitor trouble tickets at selected terminals.  Our reports on this effort can be found at www.pierpass.org. Terminal operators feel that trouble tickets generated due to a lack of information or incorrect information provided by the truck driver detract from the driver and terminal efficiency and increase the driver’s in-terminal turn times.  Please take a moment to review our reports on this topic.

 

PierPass Trouble Ticket Report #1 – EMS

As the harbor community works to streamline cargo movements and reduce truck turn-times, there is a particular inefficiency that must be addressed:  the trouble ticket. While trouble tickets are caused by a range of issues, they almost always stem from inaccurate or incomplete information about an import container delivery or an export booking problem. This results in delays for customers and truckers and additional issues for terminal operators.

Fortunately, through the use of available tools, we can improve the situation and reduce truck turn-times by checking the availability of import containers or the validity of export booking numbers. All terminals have web-based availability systems and some have additional phone systems that allow the trucking and cargo communities to doublecheck before prematurely sending a trucker to the terminal. eModal.com serves as another resource for confirming the validity and availability of cargo prior to pickup. When trucking companies fail to use these resources, truckers experience delays as a result.

In an effort to better understand the causes and effects of trouble tickets, PierPass will work with terminals over the next few months to document their experiences with trouble tickets. We understand that this is a problem across all terminals, but we also know that this problem can be improved by checking and confirming before dispatching.

Below please find the first terminal account of the trouble ticket issue.

TERMINAL EXAMPLE:

As a terminal operator, EMS Ltd. (APL Terminal) would like each and every trucker to have a positive experience delivering or picking up a container at our terminal. We strongly recommend and ask that drivers collect all required information prior to entering the terminal. This includes using Pier Pass, eModal.com, terminal website, customer service and our automated phone system to confirm that containers are discharged, cleared and ready for pickup.  For GGS, approximately 5 percent of all gate transactions end up at the trouble window – about 2,500 drivers every month.  We need your help to reduce the number of trouble tickets. Please see below our top 3 trouble ticket items which consist over 65% of the problem that can be avoided with unnecessary visit to our trouble window.

table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please use the below contact information to contact Eagle Marine Services and see if a container is cleared and available. Keep in mind that drivers may be held up by others that did not check availability or booking information.

Website: www.eaglemarineservices.com

For automated container availability 24/7; Please call our Eagle Voice: (888) 815-3758

For Customer Service; Please call (310) 548-8815

PierPass September News and Updates

Trouble Tickets

Terminal operators are monitoring trouble ticket traffic at several different terminals.  In the coming weeks we will be sharing some trouble ticket numbers and suggestions for improvement with the stakeholder community as a result of that review.

PierPass Monthly Transaction Data  

As part of our monthly newsletters 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 2012.

Truck activity information derived from RFID data.

Average in-terminal turn time:

  • 36 minutes day shift
  • 39.5 minutes night shift
    (Excluding lunch hour, breaks and trouble tickets)

In-terminal turn time is the average amount of time a truck is inside a terminal to complete a transaction. Turn time at individual terminals will vary depending on time of day and other factors. The average in-terminal turn time in July 2012 was 38.2 minutes for the day shift and 39.1 minutes for the night shift.

Frequent callers* average moves per day:

  • 14% trucks 5 or moves per day
  • 20% trucks 4 moves per day
  • 28% trucks 3 moves per day
  • 23% trucks 2 moves per day
  • 15% trucks 1 move per day

*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 July 2012, 38 percent of frequent callers made four or more moves per day.

Day vs. Night Gates:

  • Average number of day gate moves: 14,620
  • Average number of night gate moves: 18,871
  • Number of day shifts open: 27
  • Number of night shifts open: 15

Approximately 8,500 trucks regularly service the POLA/POLB.

Note:

  • 1 Stop Work Meeting on 2nd shift

PierPass August News and Updates

Trouble Tickets

Marine Terminal Operators see the many trouble tickets that are generated each day as trucks attempt to deliver or pick up containers as something that could be reduced in numbers and therefore have a positive effect on the truck turn time. PierPass will be working with terminal operators on identifying common, reoccurring trouble tickets and recommending ways to improve them. Trucking companies are encouraged to check booking numbers and container availability in the individual terminal system to make sure of availability before sending a truck to the terminal.

PierPass Monthly Transaction Data  

As part of our monthly newsletters 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 July 2012.

Truck activity information derived from RFID data.

Average in-terminal turn time:

  • 38.2 minutes day shift
  • 39.1 minutes night shift

(Excluding lunch hour, breaks and trouble tickets)

In-terminal turn time is the average amount of time a truck is inside a terminal to complete a transaction. Turn time at individual terminals will vary depending on time of day and other factors. The average in-terminal turn time in June 2012 was 38.1 minutes for the day shift and 38.4 minutes for the night shift.

Frequent callers* average moves per day:

  • 16% trucks 5 or moves per day
  • 22% trucks 4 moves per day
  • 28% trucks 3 moves per day
  • 21% trucks 2 moves per day
  • 13% trucks 1 move per day

*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 June 2012, 37 percent of frequent callers made four or more moves per day.

Day vs. Night Gates:

  • Average number of day gate moves: 17,389
  • Average number of night gate moves: 17,758
  • Number of day shifts open: 22
  • Number of night shifts open: 13

Approximately 8,500 trucks regularly service the POLA/POLB.

Note:

  • Closed one night for Stop Work Meeting, Bloody Thursday
  • Partial closure for 4th of July, Harry Bridges Birthday

Marine Terminal Operators at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to Adjust TMF on August 1

LONG BEACH, Calif., June 12, 2012 – The West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) today announced a 2.5 percent increase in the Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, in order to address labor cost increases scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2012.

Beginning August 1, the TMF will be increased by $1.50 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) to $61.50 per twenty-foot container or $123 per forty-foot container. The current TMF rates are $60.00 and $120.00 respectively.

On August 1, 2011, the TMF increased for the first time since 2006. The $10 per TEU increase came after hourly labor costs increased more than 31 percent for the same period. At that time, WCMTOA announced that beginning in mid-2012 it would begin adjusting the TMF annually to address labor cost increases.

The Traffic Mitigation Fee helps pay for the night and Saturday marine terminal shifts created by the PierPass OffPeak program to relieve daytime congestion in and around the ports. It also provides a financial incentive to move cargo during less congested times. The TMF is charged for non-exempt containers moving during peak hours (Monday through Friday, 3 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Please refer to the web site www.pierpass-tmf.org for more information.

The terminals have operated the OffPeak gates at a loss since the program’s start in 2005, when they doubled the number of shifts per week, essentially spreading the same number of containers over twice the working hours. Cargo volume since 2005 has been essentially flat. The shortfall between TMF revenues and OffPeak gate costs was $55 million in 2011 and $52.3 million in 2010.

Before PierPass was created in 2005, the ports and nearby roads were gridlocked, ships were backed up in the harbor unable to unload, and cargo owners suffered long delays in receiving and shipping vital goods.

The program has been highly successful in its primary goal of easing congestion in and around the ports. Over the past seven years, PierPass OffPeak gates have grown to handle approximately 55 percent of all container traffic at the ports, accommodated more than 21 million truck transactions, and greatly eased congestion on city streets and nearby freeways during daytime business hours.

“The OffPeak program greatly increases the capacity of America’s largest port complex without requiring additional infrastructure,” said Bruce Wargo, president of PierPass, the not-for-profit company that runs the OffPeak program. “The program increases the already tremendous competitive advantage held by the Los Angeles / Long Beach port complex, which has the most concentrated set of port assets of any port in North America, has a workforce that’s ready, available and flexible, and whose Clean Trucks Program helped replace thousands of dirty trucks with the latest, cleanest models available.”