I am proud to report that PierPass has achieved its 15th million OffPeak truck trip. That’s 15 million truck trips that took place in the nighttime and Saturday shifts we added in 2005, rather than adding to daytime highway and port congestion in Los Angeles and Long Beach. The success of the OffPeak program would not have been possible without support and feedback from the industry and community along the way.
It’s hard to imagine that only five years ago the OffPeak program didn’t exist. Today, we know it would be very difficult to return to only daytime gates. With 55 percent of cargo movements taking place during offpeak hours, the OffPeak program has proven to be a core element of port operations. But it’s important to remember why PierPass was created.
Prior to 2005, traffic congestion around the ports was out of control and the local community and elected officials demanded that we do something about it. The state proposed a solution to the problem – one that would generate no revenue to pay for the additional gates and would leave it up to decision makers in Sacramento to determine how to spend the fees. The OffPeak program, by contrast, is an industry-driven solution that provides both a funding mechanism for doubling the hours of port operations and a financial incentive to move cargo during the new shifts.
We have come a long way in five years. In 2005, many critics thought we couldn’t get the OffPeak program off the ground. Now, PierPass has transformed the goods movement industry. In a typical week, OffPeak shifts handle 63,000 truck trips. In addition to reduced truck traffic on local highways, the OffPeak program provides a variety of benefits: spreading traffic across more hours, reducing the uncertainty of delivery times, and improving turn times for trucks and drivers.
Most importantly though is that in a time of continued economic uncertainty, the OffPeak program makes better use of valuable port assets without building additional infrastructure. By doubling the number of hours in a working day and allowing cargo to move faster at night on less crowded roads, truck owners can deliver more loads and make better use of their investments in new clean trucks.