SoCal ports ready to collect clean truck fees
Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are on track to begin collecting fees for their respective Clean Truck Programs on Feb. 18 after all technical and legal issues have been resolved, Long Beach officials said Wednesday.
Both ports announced the new start date in January and the Port of Long Beach reiterated that all systems are ready after a series of previous delays.
To facilitate collections of the fees, the ports will initiate an electronic gate access system that will enable the fee collection and improve security at shipping terminals.
The plan was supposed to begin on Oct. 1, when the twin ports implemented the first stage of their program to significantly cut diesel emissions from trucks shuttling containers to and from their complexes. Under the plan to modernize the truck fleet, trucks built before 1989 are now banned from the ports and older trucks are progressively phased out in the coming years until the entire fleet of 17,000 trucks has 2007 or newer engines. The plan also includes a $35-per-TEU fee to help subsidize truck replacements and a new licensing regime for trucking firms that meet a long list of port qualifications.
The fees, equal to $70 for a 40-foot box, will be directly collected from cargo owners instead of truckers by PortCheck Inc., a not-for-profit company established by the local terminals collaborating in a federally approved discussion agreement.
The ports had to resort to a sticker system to identify compliant trucks and postpone collection of the $35 fee on Oct. 1 because the electronic payment and tracking system was not ready. The PortCheck system will rely on radio frequency identification devices affixed to each delivery truck and readers at the terminals to monitor the traffic and only allow compliant trucks into the port.
Fee collection was rescheduled for Nov. 17, but subsequently postponed while the Federal Maritime Commission reviewed whether the truck program complies with federal laws.