PierPASS Inc. has announced new procedures for handling export containers under the OffPeak program at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Beginning Monday, August 7, 2006, exporters delivering containers during peak hours will be required to claim their booking numbers before the containers arrive at the marine terminals.
Under the revised procedure, exporters must claim their booking numbers by visiting the PierPASS website and entering the booking numbers into their accounts. Export containers subject to the Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) that arrive at terminals during peak hours (Monday through Friday, 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) without having been claimed in this manner will be turned around and encouraged to use the OffPeak hours of operation.
TMF payments must be made electronically through the PierPASS website by registered OffPeak users; no OffPeak payments are accepted at the terminal gates. The cargo owner (the shipper) is responsible for payment of the fee, not the trucking company or other carrier. The website for declaring booking numbers and making TMF payments is www.pierpass-tmf.org.
Exporters who are not current on their accounts will not be allowed to deliver additional containers. For exporters using direct pay methods (credit card, debit card or electronic check), all TMFs for Monday-through-Friday periods must be paid prior to the following Tuesday. For exporters using PierPASS Credit Accounts, all TMFs for Monday-through-Friday periods are invoiced the following Tuesday. Payment terms for credit accounts are net 10 days.
The OffPeak program was launched with the support of state and local political leaders, local communities and cargo owners to reduce congestion in and around the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Under the OffPeak program, all international container terminals in the two ports have established five new shifts per week (Monday through Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.). As an incentive to use the new OffPeak shifts and to cover the added cost of the shifts, a Traffic Mitigation Fee is now required for most cargo movement during peak hours (Monday through Friday, 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.). If the container moves during OffPeak hours or is subject to Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA) fees, the container is exempt from the TMF.
This procedural change does not add any additional charges at the terminals, as export containers have been subject to the TMF since July 2005. However, the change will improve the efficiency of the OffPeak system. In addition, cargo owners that fail to fulfill their obligations to claim containers or to pay the applicable TMF will be subject to collection efforts to ensure compliance.
More than 2 million truck trips have been diverted from peak daytime traffic since the start of the OffPeak program in July 2005.