West Coast Cargo Stakeholders Review PierPass Extended Gate Alternatives
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 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.