Late registrations force PierPass to delay daytime container fee
Terminal operators at the Port of Los Angeles-Long Beach said they will temporarily waive the $40-per-TEU surcharge for shippers who pick up freight during peak hours rather than newly instituted night shifts due to a flood of last-minute registrations to set up electronic payment plans.
Monday was the first day cargo owners and their agents were scheduled to be billed for daytime container pick ups and deliveries under the new PierPass system designed to provide an incentive for shippers and truckers to take advantage of night and weekend gate hours when traffic congestion is less. PierPass issued a statement saying it would suspend until Wednesday collection of the fee, which is assessed during the day to support the extra night shifts, due to a last-minute rush by shippers to register for the program and apply for credit.
PierPass said the extra time would allow its contractor to increase its ability to process registrations.
PierPass officials repeatedly urged shippers to sign up for the program since the registration period opened in late May, but expected many companies to procrastinate. Registration is required in order to track when containers move and assign fees or automatic credit for off-peak moves. Companies with at least 500 shipments per year through the port complex are eligible to set up credit accounts for more convenient automatic payment.
PierPass officials said the first day of off-peak business Saturday (a no fee day) drew heavier than anticipated traffic volumes. The first shift “was an overwhelming success, with terminal operators reporting 20 to 40 percent of their normal weekday volumes, well ahead of our initial goal,” PierPass President Bruce Wargo said.
Terminal operators say they expect to shift 40 percent of truck traffic to off-peak shifts to better handle the rising tide of imports and reduce road congestion, but have set a goal of transporting 15 to 20 percent of cargo during night and weekend periods during the first year of operations.