Slower at Vancouver, Speedier at Southern California

Although the Vancouver Port Authority (VPA) has extended hours and a program in place to increase truck driver pay, some 9,000 containers -- containing 15,300 TEUs -- remain to be moved from lower mainland container terminals.

Though 1,000 reservations were made to pick up and move cargo in the first weekend (which was extended) under the interim measures, only 400 transactions were completed. Jim Cox, VPA vice president, Says, “The low number of completed reservations means that trucking companies are booking the appointments during extended hours, but their drivers are not showing up.”

According to the VPA, there are 2,000 containers – containing 3,400 TEUs – being held at the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma waiting for the Vancouver backup to be cleared before they may be loaded and moved to the Canadian port.

While the VPA optimistically expects the backlog to be cleared up in a month, some others are not as upbeat. OOCL, a carrier that calls on Vancouver, estimates that the backlog will take two to three months to clear up.

In an effort to ease congestion problems at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the Offpeak program, PierPASS, was established to promote movement of international containers in five new shifts per week (Monday through Thursday from 6:00 pm to 3:00 am, and Saturday from 8:00 am to 6:00pm). As an incentive, PierPASS established dollar savings through its Traffic Mitigation Fee program.

Early goals were to move between 15 and 20% of cargo to Offpeak hours. Within the first weeks of operation, some 88,000 truck trips were removed from Port peak hour traffic, a shift of 30%.

“The industry has truly turned on a dime, showing tremendous flexibility in embracing this program to use our existing infrastructure more efficiently,” says Bruce Wargo, PierPASS president and CEO.

For earlier coverage see:

Vancouver Begins to Clear Its Ports

Vancouver Port Strike Has Wide-Ranging Consequences

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