New fee structure to start Monday at Southern California ports
- The OffPeak fee structure at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will adjust as of Nov. 19 after the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) allowed the change — deemed PierPass 2.0 — to proceed Wednesday. The review process began in April.
- The former two-tiered fees will transition to a flat fee paid by all shifts to fund the night gate operations, and dray truckers will be subject to an appointment system, according to a press release.
- The new flat fee for carriers would be $31.52 per TEU and $63.04 for all other-sized containers, instead of $72.09 per TEU and $144.18 for other-sized containers currently charged during the day.
Night gates have been an important strategy since 2005 to relieve congestion at the San Pedro Bay ports. But in recent years, the fee structure has brought on a unintended "rush hour" at the ports, as the industry races in at 4 p.m. to avoid the extra fees and races out before night gates begin at 8 p.m. Adopting an appointment system on top of the days-only fees meant terminals were left to essentially dictate who paid for the night gates and who reaped the benefit.
"The new changes to the OffPeak program are being made in response to requests from port users, who seek increased flexibility and a reduction in the bunching up of trucks that often occurs before the start of the nighttime OffPeak shifts," read a press release issued by PierPass.
Though the new system might seem more equitable, not all involved are in favor. Acting FMC chairman Michael Khouri, said he has "concerns" about the new scheme though he did not attempt to block it.
And FMC commissioner Rebecca Dye added PierPass is a stopgap until technology can offer a better solution.
"All parties concerned with the supply chain—carriers, terminal operators, truckers, and shippers—should focus on port efficiency and cargo fluidity. I share Chairman Khouri’s concerns about aspects of PierPass, and emphasize that achieving actual visibility into the supply chain will ultimately alleviate the need for programs like PierPass," she said in the same press release.
- Supply Chain Dive Southern California terminals to distribute fees for night gate funding
- Federal Maritime Commission Updates to PierPass will go into effect
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