A program designed to mitigate truck traffic at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is being restructured to replace the existing model with an appointment-based system that uses a single flat fee on both daytime and nighttime cargo container moves.

Currently the PierPASS traffic mitigation fee is assessed on loaded containers entering or exiting any of the 13 international container terminals at these ports during peak hours (Monday through Friday, 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.). The TMF was first imposed in 2005 as an incentive to move goods during off-peak hours to address issues such as congestion, security, and air quality. However, a PierPASS press release states, port users have expressed a desire for changes to increase flexibility and reduce the bunching up of trucks that often occurs before the start of the off-peak shifts.

Under the revised program, which is expected to begin in August, a single flat TMF of $31.52 per 20-foot-equivalent unit will be imposed on containers moved during both day and night shifts. The rate for all other container sizes will be $63.04. Previously the TMF was $72.09 per TEU and $144.18 per 40-foot container but was only imposed on containers shipped during peak hours. Empty containers or chassis, transshipment cargo, and import or export cargo that transits the Alameda corridor (which imposes its own fee) in a container will all continue to be exempt from the TMF.

The revised program will also require appointments for picking up import containers in order to spread traffic across the two shifts. PierPass President John Cushing said this approach “is scalable and can evolve to meet changing industry needs, technology and practices.”

More information about the revised program is available here.

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