POLA and POLB Marine Terminal Gates Closed on Thursday, May 2, 2017, from 5 p.m.

Dear Users of OffPeak Gates,

PierPass Inc. has been notified that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) will observe a special stop work meeting for union business on Thursday, May 4, 2017, starting at 5 p.m. As a result, no marine terminal gates at the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach will operate between the hours of 5:00 p.m. on May 4 through 3:00 a.m. on May 5. There will be no OffPeak shift Thursday night May 4.

Please check with individual terminals for substitute or alternative gates.

This labor shutdown falls under Rule 5 of the Marine Terminal Operator Schedule No. 1, which is available at:

http://www.pierpass.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/WCMTOA-Schedule-As-of-12-10-16.pdf

PierPass Inc.

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. For more information, please see WCMTOA.org.

KPMG Analysis Validates PierPass Calculation of OffPeak Extended Gate Costs

LONG BEACH, Calif., March 13, 2017—An analysis by KPMG LLP validates the methodology PierPass Inc. uses to calculate the cost of operating the OffPeak extended gates program at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Annual PierPass financial reviews have found that the OffPeak (night and weekend) truck gates cost significantly more to operate than terminals recover through the Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) charged on weekday daytime container moves. Based on its analysis of the data and methodology used by PierPass’s auditors and maritime industry analysts, KPMG found that PierPass’s position is well supported.

The analysis by KPMG, an audit, tax and advisory services firm, was conducted on behalf of PierPass, working with the chief financial officers of both the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach. The report, “Analysis of PierPass’ OffPeak program cost calculation,” is available at http://www.pierpass.org/about-2.

“As PierPass works with industry stakeholders to evaluate alternative ways of providing the extended gates offering, this timely analysis gives us confidence that we understand the true cost of operating a second shift at the ports,” said PierPass President John Cushing. “We are pleased that KPMG has validated our cost methodology.”

KPMG’s analysis found that the 2015 costs reported by PierPass are consistent with the underlying data and methodology used in program calculations. This observation of consistency applied to each of the four major cost categories (ILWU and non-ILWU labor, equipment and administrative costs). The analysis included testing of the methodology and assumptions used to calculate gate and yard costs, the offsetting cost reductions during Peak (weekday daytime) shifts and the number of containers subject to the TMF.

KPMG found no major issues with the data used, and found that the methodology used is a reasonable approach to calculating the cost.

KPMG also conducted sensitivity analyses using two alternate methods of gauging the costs of the program. Using a revised assumption about current terminal efficiency compared with efficiency in 2005 before the OffPeak program began, KPMG found an estimated cost of $108 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit), approximately 17% higher than the $92 per TEU cost calculated by PierPass and 56% higher than the actual Traffic Mitigation Fee of $69.17 per TEU collected during 2015.

KPMG also used a second alternative method involving an estimate of fixed versus variable man-hours used in OffPeak shifts. By this methodology, KPMG arrives at an estimated actual cost of $93 per TEU, about the same as the $92 per TEU calculated by PierPass.

KPMG noted that the actual TMF in 2015 of $69.17 charged per TEU was about 25% less than the $92 per TEU calculated costs of the program. In other words, the TMF is covering only about 75% of the cost of the extended gates, confirming that the terminals are operating the OffPeak program at a loss. In order for the TMF charged to exceed the actual cost of operating the OffPeak program, the cost calculations would have to be overestimated by more than 33%.

KPMG confirmed that the majority of the 2015 OffPeak program cost before accounting for estimated Peak (day) shift cost reduction is comprised of ILWU labor costs. It found 77% of OffPeak program costs were for ILWU labor, 11% for non-ILWU labor, 9% for equipment costs and 3% for PierPass administrative costs.

KPMG also examined the data used to calculate costs for ILWU labor. KPMG found the PierPass data consistent with the hourly data collected and maintained by the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), which manages the ILWU payroll.

Since the start of the OffPeak program in 2005, Traffic Mitigation Fees collected have been divided among terminals according to the relative volume of all loaded containers at each terminal (including Peak, OffPeak and intermodal). The revenue individual terminals receive hasn’t been directly based on that terminal’s costs, which could subsidize inefficiency, and would also disclose confidential financial data to competitors. Individual terminals, which are private companies and/or units of larger public companies, don’t share their internal financial data with competing terminals or with their landlords, the ports.

The terminals share their internal cost data, on a confidential basis, with the maritime industry analysis firm that calculates the cost of the OffPeak program. That firm (currently SC Analytics) also obtains ILWU payroll data from the PMA. SC Analytics then aggregates the cost data across terminals and uses it to calculate the overall cost of providing extended gates.

KPMG was given confidential access to both SC Analytics data on individual terminal costs and PMA data in order to conduct its analysis.

KPMG also made several recommendations that could improve the accuracy of these cost calculations:

  • The process for determining how labor costs are allocated to or excluded from OffPeak costs could be made more reliable, for example by adding OffPeak-specific job codes for terminals to use;
  • The estimation of equipment costs could be modified to include an exclusion for variable equipment costs related to the OffPeak program; and
  • The process for estimating the amount terminals save on Peak (weekday daytime) shifts by shifting cargo to OffPeak shifts could be revamped, as it relies on comparisons to terminal operations before the OffPeak program began in 2005.

“We welcome suggestions from KPMG on improving the cost methodology calculation process and will strive to implement them where feasible in our 2017 cost analysis,” Cushing said. “Alternative methods of cost measurement may also be relevant for any possible new programs resulting from the current evaluation of extended gate alternatives.”

PierPass Advisory Committee Continues Review of Extended Gate Options

LONG BEACH, Calif., Dec. 12, 2016 – The PierPass Advisory Committee met on Dec. 8 to review potential alternatives to the current extended gates model used at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach under the OffPeak Program.

The meeting continued a process that began at an Oct. 20 workshop, where the 13 container terminals that comprise the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) met with more than 70 leaders representing importers, exporters, trucking companies, logistics providers, government representatives and other stakeholders.

Under this process, the terminals are working with industry stakeholders to review extended gate alternatives proposed by various interested parties. The proposals offer different approaches to spreading out truck traffic more evenly across the daytime and nighttime hours of operation at the terminals, while continuing to operate and fund extended gate hours.

The alternatives reviewed include variable pricing, under which the Traffic Mitigation Fee would be higher in times of high gate activity and lower in times of low gate activity; a lower flat fee applying both to day and night moves, with appointment systems to help regulate traffic flow; and port-wide peel-off, in which trucks would operate like taxis in an airport queue and each pick up the next available container, compared with the current system under which a specific container must be located, dug out of the container stack and moved onto a specific truck.

At the Dec. 8 meeting, the PierPass Advisory Committee reviewed the feedback received at the Oct. 20 meeting, and members offered their points of view on the benefits and challenges of the three alternative models. During the Dec. 8 meeting, the first option – variable and dynamic pricing – received no support from Committee members, echoing the cool reception it received at the Oct. 20 workshop. This option has been removed from consideration.

During the remainder of the Dec. 8 meeting, attendees offered detailed feedback on the “flat fee tied to an appointment” and “port-wide peel-off” options.

An initial draft report will now be prepared by PierPass staff, which the Advisory Committee will review and meet to discuss in February. The subsequent revision of the report will go to the Extended Gates Subcommittee for review and feedback in March. PierPass is scheduled to distribute the final draft of the Extended Gates Report and Recommendations in mid-April, and a follow-up to the Extended Gates Workshop has been scheduled for early May.

The OffPeak program is managed by PierPass Inc., a not-for-profit company formed by WCMTOA to coordinate multi-terminal programs addressing congestion, air quality and security. The PierPass Advisory Committee, established in 2005, includes a broad range of cargo owners, trucking companies, terminal operators and other stakeholders.

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. The TMF also helps pay for the labor and other costs of operating the OffPeak shifts.

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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.

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POLA and POLB Marine Terminal Gates Closed on Thursday, August 4, 2016 at 5 p.m.

Dear Users of OffPeak Gates,

PierPass Inc. has been notified that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) will observe a special stop work meeting for union business on Thursday, August 4, 2016, starting at 5 p.m. As a result, no marine terminal gates at the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach will operate between the hours of 5:00 p.m. on August 4 through 3:00 a.m. on August 5. There will be no OffPeak shift Thursday night August 4.

Please check with individual terminals for substitute or alternative gates.

This labor shutdown falls under Rule 5 of the Marine Terminal Operator Schedule No. 1, which is available at:

http://www.pierpass.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/8-8-16-MTO-Schedule.pdf

PierPass Inc.

Truck Turn Times in Q2 were Fastest in Two Years at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach

LONG BEACH, Calif., July 13, 2016 – In the second quarter of 2016, trucks were able to pick up and deliver containers at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach more quickly than in any other quarter over the last two years, according to monthly data reported by marine terminals and compiled by PierPass Inc.

In both May and June, turn times fell below 40 minutes during the Peak shift and below 45 minutes during the OffPeak shift for the first time since the second quarter of 2014. Turn time measures how long it takes a truck to drop off or pick up a container at a marine terminal. The average turn times for the full quarter were 40.8 minutes (Peak) and 43.0 minutes (OffPeak), down from 55.3 minutes (Peak) and 58.4 minutes(OffPeak) during the fourth quarter of 2014.

In order to increase cargo velocity, terminals have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in new automation technology and other infrastructure. They have also implemented new procedures to address challenges presented by the arrival of much larger new ships, the spread of vessel-sharing agreements and the transition of chassis ownership from shipping lines to leasing companies. Terminals have also increased their coordination with trucking companies to extend the use of free-flow or peel-off procedures for rapid delivery of large groups of containers.

More of the terminals have also moved to adopt appointment systems, to better spread cargo movement over the hours of operation and coordinate which areas of the yard are being worked to enable more efficient use of container-moving equipment. As of July 2016, seven of the 13 terminals are using appointment systems, with more expected to come online by the end of the year.

“Through investment, innovation and collaboration with other port stakeholders, the terminals have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to overcome operational challenges,” said PierPass President John Cushing. “This ability, combined with the capacity, flexibility and geographic advantages of Los Angeles and Long Beach, has maintained our position as the premier port complex in North America.”

“We are encouraged by the recent turn time results and appreciate the work that has been done to attain these gains,æ said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We look forward to partnering with stakeholders to obtain further reductions and additional supply chain efficiencies.”

During the second quarter of 2016, more than 850,000 containers were picked up or delivered on weeknights or Saturdays during the OffPeak shifts established by PierPass. Without OffPeak, those truck trips would take place during weekday daytime traffic, greatly increasing congestion on the roads and highways of nearby communities.

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 on weekday daytime cargo moves to incentivize cargo owners to use the OffPeak shifts. The TMF also helps pay for the labor and other costs of operating the OffPeak shifts.

Since 2005, OffPeak has taken more than 35 million truck trips out of daytime Southern California traffic and diverted them to less congested nights and weekends.

For more information about turn times and how PierPass measures them, please see our Q&A at http://goo.gl/PiOjBp.

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. PierPass launched the OffPeak program in 2005 to reduce cargo-related congestion on local streets and highways around the ports by establishing regular night and Saturday work shifts. Since 2005, OffPeak has taken more than 35 million truck trips out of daytime Southern California traffic and diverted them to less congested nights and weekends. About half of all port truck trips now take place during the OffPeak shifts. For more information, please see www.pierpass.org.

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Marine Terminal Operators at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to Adjust TMF on August 8

LONG BEACH, Calif., July 8, 2016 – The West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) today announced a 1.9 percent increase in the Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, scheduled to take effect on August 8, 2016. The increase will sustain continued operation of PierPass OffPeak gates amid labor cost increases.

Beginning August 8, the TMF will be increased to $70.49 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) or $140.98 per forty-foot container.

The adjustment falls under Rule 7 of WCMTOA’s Marine Terminal Schedule No. 1, which states, “Beginning in mid-2012, the Fee shall be adjusted annually to reflect increases in labor costs based on Pacific Maritime Association maritime labor cost figures.” The PMA negotiates and administers maritime labor agreements with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).

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. OffPeak established regular night and Saturday work shifts to handle trucks delivering and picking up containers at the 13 container terminals in the two adjacent ports.

Using a congestion pricing model, PierPass charges a TMF on weekday daytime cargo moves to incentivize cargo owners to use the OffPeak shifts. The TMF also helps pay for the labor and other costs of operating the OffPeak shifts.

According to an analysis by maritime industry consultants SC Analytics, the costs incurred by the terminals to operate the OffPeak shifts in 2015 totaled $236.2 million. During the year, the terminals received $168.9 million from the Traffic Mitigation Fee, offsetting only part of the OffPeak program’s costs.

Since 2005, OffPeak has taken more than 35 million truck trips out of daytime Southern California traffic and diverted them to less congested nights and weekends. About half of all port truck trips now take place during the OffPeak shifts.

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://www.pierpass.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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