Program Diverts 34 Million Truck Trips From Los Angeles / Long Beach Peak Traffic Since 2005
LONG BEACH, Calif., July 23, 2015 – PierPass Inc. today celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the OffPeak Program, which established regular night and Saturday work shifts at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach, and pledged continuing efforts to minimize cargo-related congestion in and around the ports. Since July 23, 2005, OffPeak has taken 34 million truck trips out of daytime Southern California traffic and diverted them to less congested nights and weekends.
PierPass created OffPeak as a private sector solution to what was then a critical public problem: after a rapid rise in cargo volume in the early 2000s, drayage trucks were causing severe congestion on the roads and highways and in the neighborhoods around the ports, while thousands of idling trucks caught in this traffic every day added to air pollution. The ports came under strong community and political pressure to find a solution.
PierPass effectively doubles the capacity of the nation’s largest and busiest port complex without taxpayer money and without waiting for new infrastructure to be built. It enables the economic benefits of cargo transportation – which provides nearly 700,000 Southern California jobs and generates more than $10 billion in state and local taxes annually – while greatly mitigating the traffic and air quality impacts of the ports’ operations. OffPeak now regularly diverts about half of the roughly 150,000 weekly truck trips to nights and Saturdays.
“Heavy-duty trucks are the largest source of smog-forming nitrogen oxide emissions in our region,” explains South Coast Air Quality Management District Executive Officer Barry Wallerstein. “By decreasing the time that trucks are idling and stuck in traffic, the OffPeak program has helped to significantly improve air quality.”
The mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach hailed the OffPeak program’s achievements on its 10th anniversary.
“The OffPeak program has facilitated the continued growth of the Port of Long Beach,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, “while lowering the adverse environmental impacts of their operations.”
“For the last decade, PierPass has instituted innovative and creative problem solving for the goods movement industry in Southern California,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Their program has helped to bring jobs to America’s #1 port, while helping us reduce our environmental footprint in the Harbor area.”
Congressman Alan Lowenthal, who introduced legislation to address truck congestion at the ports when he was an Assemblyman in the California Legislature, said, “Given the success of OffPeak, many don’t remember how bad it was at the ports in the years before the program’s creation. The OffPeak program really helped reduce the stress on port-adjacent communities and traffic on key freeways.”
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 cost of operating the OffPeak shifts, which upon introduction in 2005 roughly doubled the labor cost to handle the same amount of cargo. Container volume rose only 6% between 2005 and 2014.
On an average OffPeak weeknight, 13,500 trucks visit the marine container terminals at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. If all of these trucks were lined up bumper-to-bumper, they would form a line 145 miles long, stretching halfway to Las Vegas. Without the OffPeak program, this cargo would be crammed into a single day shift, doubling daytime volumes and once again causing severe congestion.
“We are proud of what we have accomplished with the OffPeak program, but we aren’t resting on our accomplishments,” said PierPass President John Cushing. “PierPass and the terminals are constantly working with our partners at the ports and others in the supply chain to improve the velocity of freight and reduce the environmental impact of port operations.”
PierPass is a not-for-profit company created by marine terminal operators at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in 2005 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, see http://youtu.be/P9IJN1yIIJ4. For additional information, please see www.pierpass.org.
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PierPass Customer Service Numbers:
877-863-3310 (from inside the United States)
1-973-355-3575 (from outside the United States)