PierPass grants shippers extra reprieve
Terminal operators have delayed by an extra day collection of a surcharge on shippers who pick up or deliver cargo to the Port of Los Angeles-Long Beach during weekday hours instead of taking advantage of night and weekend truck gates now available port wide.
PierPass, the joint venture program set up for extended gate service, on Monday postponed billing shippers and their agents for daytime container moves for two days until Wednesday because it said it needed more time to process a last-minute rush of registrations to use the port during the day.
The group noted at the bottom of a news release Wednesday that the so-called traffic mitigation fee created to cover the cost of extra night shifts won’t be collected until today.
Terminals began universal extended gate service last Saturday and Monday was supposed to be the first day that PierPass collected fees from peak-hour users.
Off-peak shifts operate from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m., Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Shippers are assessed a fee for containers that move between 3 a.m. and 6 p.m. by truck. Containers that are transported by rail via the Alameda Corridor and empties are exempt from the surcharge.
PierPass promoted the first day of night gate operations as a rousing success. The group said 7,500 containers entered or exited the port complex on Monday, about 29 percent of a typical day’s volume of 26,000 containers. PierPass’ goal is to shift 15 to 20 percent of cargo to off-peak shifts during the first year of operation and 40 percent of cargo within three years to reduce traffic congestion and help terminals efficiently handle growing volume.
“The longshoremen all showed up, thousands of truck drivers all showed up, there were no labor issues, and we’ve delivered more than 7,500 containers,” PierPass President Bruce Wargo said. “We’re off to a very strong start.”
Wargo acknowledged that some customers experienced minor service delays, but said growing pains were anticipated and that terminals would correct any problems that crop up. PierPass reported average turn times for drivers were 35 to 40 minutes, about the same as daytime turns.