Long Beach port postpones fees
The Port of Long Beach said Monday it would delay collection of a new infrastructure fee, lowering wharf fees and taking other steps to keep the port competitive in the current economic downturn.
The port’s Board of Harbor Commissioners voted Monday to postpone collection of an “infrastructure cargo fee” until at least July 1, 2010. It was the second postponement of the fee, which was originally scheduled to come into effect at the beginning of 2009.
Both the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles had planned to collect the fee as of July 1, 2009, to fund critical highway and rail upgrades and repairs. Long Beach said the actual fee, when and if it is collected, would be based on the projects ready for construction.
The port also said it would reduce the wharfage rate for intermodal container cargo. This is the amount paid to ship cargo across the docks. The port said the 10 percent decrease is intended as an incentive for terminal operators to maintain or increase their discretionary cross-country cargo that could be shipped through any of several ports to reach inland destinations. It said the reduced rate, which could cost the port as much as $11 million, will apply beginning May 1 and continue for one year.
The port said it would also reward carriers with an additional $20 per TEU reduction on wharfage, if they increase the amount of intermodal cargo they bring through the port.
The port also said it was modifying its clean trucks program, effective May 4. It said it would eliminate the clean truck fee and scrap requirements for privately financed clean trucks and port-funded liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fueled or alternative-fueled trucks.
It also said it would eliminate the clean truck fee for “Gateway Cities-funded” and the first 50 or so new trucks funded by the clean trucks program.
The port said only container cargo moved by 2006 and older trucks and clean diesel trucks funded by port after April 20 will pay the clean truck fee of $35 per 20-foot container and $70 per larger container.
The changes also immediately reduce the 'day pass' to $30 per day for out-of-state and infrequent truckers.
The board also approved the appointment of Alex H. Cherin, who has been executive officer to the board of harbor commissioners, as the port’s managing director of trade relations and port operations.