Ocean Cargo: Night gate fee raise postponed at Ports of LA/Long Beach
July 01, 2011
Responding to shipper concerns, the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) announced it will postpone until August 1 its planned adjustment to the Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Bruce Wargo, president of PierPass, the non-profit formed by WCMTOA in 2005 that runs the OffPeak program, told LM last month that the TMF adjustment would be implemented on July 4. Having heard from shippers at the recently-concluded Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTC) annual conference in San Francisco, may have led to that reversal.
“The schedule change is in response to feedback from customers and other partners in the goods movement industry, and is intended to provide more time for cargo owners to prepare for the adjusted TMF,” added PierPass spokesmen.
Wargo told AgTC shippers that while rate increases are never desirable, it’s important to recognize the value gained through adequate funding of the PierPass OffPeak Program.
In a statement, spokesmen asked shippers to recall six years ago, before PierPass existed to address daytime truck and cargo congestion at the San Pedro Bay ports.
“Heavy traffic plagued freeways, neighboring communities, and roads leading into ports. Long lines of trucks, cargo sitting for extended periods, and ship delays were commonplace.
Over the past six years, PierPass OffPeak gates have grown to handle approximately 55 percent of all container traffic at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, have accommodated close to 20 million truck transactions during OffPeak shifts, and eased congestion in city streets and nearby freeways during normal business hours.
“OffPeak gates help to minimize daytime traffic congestion, allow cargo to move faster at night on less crowded roads, and enables truck owners to deliver more loads through lower turn-times and twice the number of working hours in a day, PierPass spokesmen added. “The TMF funds the nighttime gates, which make these benefits possible.
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