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.