PierPass Diverts 48 Million Truck Trips From Los Angeles / Long Beach Peak Traffic Since 2005

LONG BEACH, Calif., July 21, 2020 – PierPass Inc. announced that its OffPeak Program has taken 48 million truck trips out of daytime Southern California traffic since the program’s inception in July 2005. OffPeak reduces cargo-related congestion and pollution in and around the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach by diverting truck trips to night and Saturday shifts funded by the program.

The number of annual truck trips to and from the ports rose 20% between 2005 and 2019, a period that saw no significant expansion of nearby highway capacity.

“The PierPass OffPeak program has helped the LA/LB ports continue operating as a major source of jobs in Southern California,” said Congressman Alan Lowenthal. “I was very proud to spearhead the legislative effort that led both to the creation of PierPass and to extended hours at the ports.”

The OffPeak Program established regular night and Saturday work shifts at the two adjacent ports. The expanded shifts are primarily funded by a Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) levied on loaded containers entering and exiting the ports by truck.

Because there is no fee on intermodal cargo (containers leaving or arriving by rail), the TMF is paid by cargo headed for Southern California and other nearby destinations. For example, containers arriving from Asia and leaving the ports by rail to other parts of the U.S. don’t pay the TMF.

“PierPass is a prime example of the private sector joining together to take coordinated action to address the needs of the goods movement industry and the needs of the community,” Rep. Lowenthal added. “Their OffPeak program has helped our economy, our workers, and the health of our residents.”

The OffPeak Program was restructured in November 2018 after an 18-month process of consultation with industry stakeholders, and an analysis and survey by industry consultants. The revised program, informally called “PierPass 2.0,” reduces traffic congestion by spreading cargo movement across two shifts using appointments.

Heavy-duty trucks are the largest source of smog-forming nitrogen oxide emissions and toxic diesel exhaust in the region. By decreasing the time that trucks are idling and stuck in traffic, the OffPeak program has also helped to improve air quality.

“The severe traffic impacts caused by cargo movement in the pre-PierPass era of daytime-only operation is becoming a distant memory,” said PierPass President John Cushing. “The program has enabled Southern California’s distribution centers and warehouses to regularly operate a second shift, and has been a model for other ports around the country that have created their own programs for extended gates.”

TMF at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to Increase 4.2% on August 1

LONG BEACH, Calif., June 30, 2020—The West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) today announced that on August 1, 2020, the Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will increase by 4.2 percent. The adjustment matches the combined 4.2 percent increase in longshore wage and assessment rates that take effect in early July.

Beginning August 1, the TMF will be $33.47 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) or $66.94 for all other sizes of container. The TMF is charged on non-exempt containers. Containers exempt from the TMF include empty containers; import cargo or export cargo that transits the Alameda Corridor in a container and is subject to a fee imposed by the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority; and transshipment cargo. Empty chassis and bobtail trucks are also exempt.

The OffPeak program provides regularly scheduled night or Saturday shifts to handle trucks delivering and picking up containers at the 12 container terminals in the two adjacent ports. PierPass launched the OffPeak program in 2005 to reduce severe cargo-related congestion and air pollution on local streets and highways around the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. Nearly half of all port truck trips now take place during the off-peak shifts. The container terminal operators mitigate truck traffic at their gates with appointment systems that spread truck trips out over the hours of operation.

The TMF helps offset the cost of operating extended gate hours. Labor costs are the largest single component of extended gate costs.

According to an analysis by maritime industry consultants SC Analytics, the net costs incurred by the terminals to operate the off-peak shifts in 2019 totaled $262 million. During that year, the terminals received $223 million from the TMF, offsetting about 85 percent of the OffPeak program’s costs.

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. The West Coast Marine Terminal Operator Agreement (WCMTOA) is filed with the Federal Maritime Commission, and comprises the 12 international MTOs serving the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.

Revised PierPass OffPeak System Start Expected in Fourth Quarter

LONG BEACH, Calif., June 26, 2018—The members of the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) today said the revised OffPeak program for providing extended gate hours—informally known as PierPass 2.0—is expected to start in the fourth quarter of this year.

WCMTOA members—the 12 marine terminal operators at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach—met on June 21 to address reporting requirements for the amendment to Marine Terminal Schedule No. 1, the document on file with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) under which WCMTOA operates.

In April, PierPass announced it will overhaul the system used by the OffPeak program for truck traffic mitigation at the two adjacent ports, replacing the current congestion pricing model with an appointment-based system that uses a single TEU-based flat fee on both daytime and nighttime container moves.

On May 24, the FMC voted to issue a Request for Additional Information about the proposed amendment. WCMTOA members are currently working to gather the requested information. Once WCMTOA submits its response, the FMC will have another 45 days to analyze the amendment. The completion of this process revises WCMTOA’s projected program launch date, originally expected in August, to the fourth quarter of 2018.

A Q&A about the revised OffPeak program is available at www.pierpass.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/QA-on-New-OffPeak-Program_4-16-18.pdf. The West Coast MTO Agreement is a discussion agreement filed with the FMC. For more information and to track continuing developments, please go to https://www.pierpass.org/about/extended-gates-review-process/.

PierPass to Adopt Appointment System and Flat Fee for OffPeak Program

LONG BEACH, Calif., April 16, 2018—PierPass will overhaul the model used by its OffPeak program for truck traffic mitigation at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, replacing the current congestion pricing model with an appointment-based system that uses a single flat fee on both daytime and nighttime container moves.

The members of the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA)—the 12 marine terminal operators at the two adjacent ports—reached the decision after an 18-month process of consultation with industry stakeholders, and an analysis and survey by industry consultants.

Port users have expressed a desire for changes to increase flexibility and reduce the bunching up of trucks that often occurs before the start of the nighttime OffPeak shifts. Subject to regulatory approval, the revised OffPeak program is expected to begin in August.

“The industry has been demanding ‘PierPass 2.0,’ and we are responding,” said PierPass President John Cushing. “The original OffPeak program was an innovative and highly effective solution to the challenges we faced in 2005. But it was fairly inflexible, whereas an appointment-based model is scalable and can evolve to meet changing industry needs, technology and practices.”

Under the current program, OffPeak charges a Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) on weekday daytime cargo moves to incentivize cargo owners to use OffPeak shifts on nights and Saturdays. The revised OffPeak program will replace this two-tier fee structure with a single flat TMF during both shifts, and use appointments to spread traffic across the two shifts.

Applying the TMF to both day and night cargo will allow a reduction of more than 55 percent in the TMF while still providing funding to operate extended gates. The current TMF of $72.09 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) will be replaced by a new flat fee of $31.52 per TEU; the rate for all other container sizes will be a flat fee of $63.04.

“The Port of Long Beach is pleased with the progress PierPass has made in working with industry stakeholders to improve night gate operations in our terminals,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “As ships are getting bigger and volumes increase, efficient gate management is critical to our ability to move cargo in a reliable, predictable and expedient manner.”

“I’m pleased and encouraged that PierPass members are taking a significant step forward to improve efficiencies at the San Pedro Bay port complex,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We, as well as the trucking community and all of our stakeholders, look forward to increased cargo velocity and customer responsiveness at Port facilities.”

The process of reviewing OffPeak alternatives has included a series of meetings beginning with an October 2016 workshop where WCMTOA met with more than 70 leaders representing importers, exporters, trucking companies, logistics providers, elected officials, government representatives, port authorities and other supply chain stakeholders. After a series of subsequent stakeholder meetings to delve into potential alternative models, PierPass retained industry consultants to conduct a detailed analysis. The consultants’ findings were presented and discussed at a follow-up industry workshop on March 8, 2018. WCMTOA members then worked through the remaining issues to arrive at the final plan for the revised OffPeak program.

“The California Trucking Association appreciates the proposal put forth by PierPass regarding its re-structuring of the TMF,” said Alex Cherin, Executive Director of the CTA Intermodal Conference. “This is the culmination of many collaborative discussions between the marine terminal operators and trucking communities over the last few years, and we look forward to supporting these efforts.”

“The HTA has worked hard with our marine terminal colleagues to create a more efficient and environmentally sustainable port complex,” said Weston LaBar, CEO of the Harbor Trucking Association. “This new direction for PierPass is another example of cross-industry collaboration and is a giant step in the right direction. It shows that the San Pedro Bay Port Complex will continue to be the preferred gateway for moving America’s cargo.”

A Q&A about the revised OffPeak program is available at www.pierpass.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/QA-on-New-OffPeak-Program_4-16-18.pdf. The West Coast MTO Agreement is a discussion agreement filed with the FMC. For more information and to track continuing developments, please go to www.pierpass.org.

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West Coast Cargo Stakeholders Review PierPass Extended Gate Alternatives

SAN PEDRO, Calif., March 12, 2018 – More than 60 supply chain leaders gathered on March 8 to review the findings of an analysis of options for extended gate hours at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The Tioga Group Inc. and World Class Logistics (WCL) Consulting Inc. presented the results of their evaluation of two potential alternatives to the current model used under the OffPeak program managed by PierPass. Since 2005, the OffPeak program has mitigated traffic congestion caused by port truck operations by enabling and encouraging the pickup and delivery of containers on weeknights or Saturdays.

The two alternatives the study considered were appointments to control traffic flow, combined with a flat fee on both daytime and nighttime cargo moves; and port-wide peel-off, in which trucks would operate like taxis in an airport queue, each truck picking up the next container in the stack, providing minimal turn times.

Among the findings of the Tioga/WCL study were:

  • Appointment systems are a more effective way to manage truck flow and terminal workload
  • The current incentive fee on Peak (daytime) containers moves could be replaced with a flat fee on both days and nights to function better with appointment systems and eliminate issues related to the shift change
  • While a port-wide peel-off system received little support from truckers and cargo owners, integrating a conventional peel-off option along with an appointment system would give terminals an additional tool to reduce turn times and accelerate the velocity of freight

The March 8 Tioga/WCL presentation is available at https://www.pierpass.org/about/extended-gates-review-process/.

The members of the West Coast MTO Agreement (WMCTOA) – the 12 marine terminal operators at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports – will now review the recommendations and feedback from the March 8 meeting participants and determine how to proceed. A decision is expected to be announced within several weeks.

WCMTOA’s agent 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 on nights and Saturdays. Proceeds from the TMF help offset increased labor and other costs associated with operating the OffPeak shifts.

More than 40 million truck trips have been diverted out of weekday daytime traffic in the Los Angeles area since the program began, dramatically decreasing congestion on the region’s streets and highways and contributing to the clean air initiatives of the ports and the State of California.

While the OffPeak program has been very successful in meeting its goal, port users have expressed a desire for changes – which some have called “PierPass 2.0” – to increase flexibility and to address the bunching up of trucks that often occurs before the start of the OffPeak shifts.

The process of reviewing OffPeak alternatives has included a series of meetings beginning with an Oct. 2016 workshop where WCMTOA met with more than 70 leaders representing importers, exporters, trucking companies, logistics providers, elected officials, government representatives, port authorities and other supply chain stakeholders. Subsequent meetings to address the issues surrounding the alternative models were held with the 40 supply chain stakeholders who together comprise the PierPass Advisory Committee (PPAC) and the Extended Gates Subcommittee (EGS). The Tioga study was one of the outcomes of this process.

The West Coast MTO Agreement is filed with the Federal Maritime Commission. For more information and to track continuing developments, please go to www.pierpass.org.

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PierPass OffPeak Diverts 40 Million Truck Trips from Los Angeles Traffic

LONG BEACH, Calif., July 26, 2017—PierPass Inc. today announced that its OffPeak program has diverted more than 40 million truck trips out of weekday daytime traffic in the Los Angeles area since the program began 12 years ago this week.

The OffPeak program’s reduction in traffic congestion has also removed hundreds of tons of pollution from the region’s air, a major contribution to efforts by the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach to cut pollution from the San Pedro Bay port complex.

“In southern California, heavy-duty trucks are the single largest source of both the pollutants that cause smog and exposure to toxic diesel particulates,” said Wayne Nastri, Executive Officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District. “By reducing the amount of time that trucks spend trapped in terminal queues or traffic jams, OffPeak has made a big contribution to addressing our region’s air pollution problem.”

Without the OffPeak program, more than 12,600 additional truck trips would be jammed into local traffic every weekday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., enough trucks to stretch nearly halfway from Los Angeles to Las Vegas if lined up bumper-to-bumper. The OffPeak program creates weeknight and Saturday shifts for trucks delivering containers to and from the ports, offers a congestion pricing incentive to reduce weekday daytime truck trips, and provides funding for the new shifts.

“Efficient goods movement enables a crucial jobs engine for Southern California’s economy to continue thriving,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Chair of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. “The PierPass OffPeak program seeks to maximize the efficient use of existing transportation infrastructure and demonstrates the potential for private-sector innovation to tackle public policy problems. I encourage stakeholders to continue working together to strengthen the program to ensure goods can move as efficiently and safely as possible.”

OffPeak was conceived after a surge in cargo volume in the early 2000s led to severe traffic congestion and its associated air pollution in and around the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Local communities and political leaders demanded that the ports take action to address the problem. OffPeak was created with the support of cargo owners, the ports and political leaders.

“Over the last 12 years, OffPeak had diverted more than 40 million trucks off our roads and freeways during the busiest times of the day,” said David Pettit, Senior Attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “By reducing truck congestion at the marine container terminals and on the Harbor and Long Beach Freeway, the program has helped reduce pollution and increase mobility for the communities in and around the ports.”

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PierPass January 2017 Newsletter

The year ended at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach with terminal yards free of congestion, and with cargo moving efficiently in and out of the terminals and on nearby freeways, during both shifts.

Average in-terminal turn time in December 2016*:
42.9 minutes day shift
46.2 minutes night shift
*11 of 13 terminals reporting

For comparison, the average in-terminal turn time in November was 45.2 minutes for the day shift and 47.2 minutes for the night shift.

In-terminal turn time is the average amount of time a truck is inside a terminal to complete a transaction. Truck activity information is derived from RFID data, and excludes lunch hour, breaks and trouble tickets. Turn time at individual terminals will vary depending on time of day and other factors. For more information about turn times and how we measure them, please see our Q&A at http://goo.gl/PiOjBp.

Average daily moves per truck in December:
5 or more moves per day: 7%
4 moves per day: 13%
3 moves per day: 29%
2 moves per day: 33%
1 move per day: 18%

Gate moves during Peak and OffPeak shifts in December:
Total Peak gate moves: 403,107 (58%)
Total OffPeak gate moves: 289,659 (42%)

A gate move occurs when a container enters or leaves a marine terminal via the truck gates. Peak shifts are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. OffPeak shifts are weeknights from 6:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. and on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Note:
All terminals were closed on Sunday, Dec. 25, for the Christmas holiday, and some terminals were closed for one or both shifts on Monday, Dec. 26.

PierPass December 2016 Newsletter

Evaluation of Extended Gate Options Continues

On Dec. 8, members of the PierPass Advisory Committee met to continue the process of evaluating potential alternatives to the current extended gates model used at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach under the OffPeak Program.

The process began on Oct. 20, when the 13 container terminals that comprise the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) met in San Pedro with more than 70 leaders representing importers, exporters, trucking companies, logistics providers, government representatives and other stakeholders.

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.

Average in-terminal turn time in November 2016*:
45.2 minutes day shift
47.2 minutes night shift
*12 out of 13 terminals reporting

For comparison, the average in-terminal turn time in October was 50.2 minutes for the day shift and 51.2 minutes for the night shift. In October, terminals had the additional burden of redistributing Hanjin containers to other terminals, while in November, conditions returned to normal.

In-terminal turn time is the average amount of time a truck is inside a terminal to complete a transaction. Truck activity information is derived from RFID data, and excludes lunch hour, breaks and trouble tickets. Turn time at individual terminals will vary depending on time of day and other factors. For more information about turn times and how we measure them, please see our Q&A at http://goo.gl/PiOjBp.

Average daily moves per truck in November:
5 or more moves per day: 5%
4 moves per day: 9%
3 moves per day: 24%
2 moves per day: 39%
1 move per day: 23%

Gate moves during Peak and OffPeak shifts in November:
Total Peak gate moves: 395,482 (55%)
Total OffPeak gate moves: 317,083 (45%)

A gate move occurs when a container enters or leaves a marine terminal via the truck gates. Peak shifts are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. OffPeak shifts are weeknights from 6:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. and on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Note:
All terminals were closed on Thursday, Nov. 24, for the Thanksgiving holiday, and some terminals were closed on Friday, Nov. 25.

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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PierPass November 2016 Newsletter

West Coast Terminals Evaluate Extended Gate Options

Terminal operators at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach held an Oct. 20 workshop with industry stakeholders to evaluate potential alternatives to the current extended gates model used at the ports under the OffPeak Program.

The 13 container terminals that comprise the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) met in San Pedro with more than 70 leaders representing importers, exporters, trucking companies, logistics providers, government representatives and other stakeholders.

A copy of the presentation used at the workshop is available at https://goo.gl/6FUWKD.

More Terminals Adding Appointment Systems

As of Oct. 17, eight of the 13 container terminals in LA-Long Beach were using appointment systems. On that day, ETS (Everport Terminal Services) began using its system for import loads. More information about the ETS appointment system can be found at http://www.etslink.com.

A ninth terminal, YTI (Yusen Terminal Inc.) plans to have an its appointment system running by March 2017.

Average in-terminal turn time in October 2016:
50.2 minutes day shift
51.2 minutes night shift

For comparison, the average in-terminal turn time in September was 45.1 minutes for the day shift and 47.1 minutes for the night shift. Turn times increased in October as terminals redistributed Hanjin containers to other terminals.

In-terminal turn time is the average amount of time a truck is inside a terminal to complete a transaction. Truck activity information is derived from RFID data, and excludes lunch hour, breaks and trouble tickets. Turn time at individual terminals will vary depending on time of day and other factors. For more information about turn times and how we measure them, please see our Q&A at http://goo.gl/PiOjBp.

Average daily moves per truck in October:
5 or more moves per day: 5%
4 moves per day: 9%
3 moves per day: 24%
2 moves per day: 39%
1 move per day: 23%

Gate moves during Peak and OffPeak shifts in October:
Total Peak gate moves: 396,324 (56%)
Total OffPeak gate moves: 305,960 (44%)

A gate move occurs when a container enters or leaves a marine terminal via the truck gates. Peak shifts are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. OffPeak shifts are weeknights from 6:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. and on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Note:
All terminals were closed for the OffPeak shift on Oct. 6 for an ILWU Stop Work Meeting.