Going into full operation on July 25, the PierPASS program is now at work, aimed at reducing congestion at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Under the program, a Traffic Mitigation Fee is required to move cargo through the ports during peak hours, Monday through Friday, 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The fee is $40 per TEU (20-foot equivalent unit), or $80 for all containers larger than a 20-foot unit. The fee will help fund five new OffPeak shifts per week, from 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.
PierPASS has not met with total acceptance. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters says that the program will result in longer hours for port drives and additional financial burdens on motor carriers. “Drivers will be forced to work both day and night and risk violating the hours of service regulations to keep pace with the increased workload,” said Chuck Mack, director of the Teamsters Port Division. “PierPASS also places additional financial obligations on motor carriers for night-time security and operational expenses, without offering even a portion of the new funds obtained through the surcharge assessed to the shippers.”
In response to Teamster criticism, PierPASS president and CEO, Bruce Wargo, notes that adding new night and Saturday shifts at the ports has created between 350 and 500 longshore and clerk jobs at terminals. “While PierPASS takes no position on the unionisation of port drivers,” he says, “it is unfortunate that the Teamsters are attacking our progressive solution to port congestion problems. We urge the Teamsters to take a closer look at the OffPeak program and its benefits to both local communities and port drivers, and to play a more constructive role by supporting the program.”
PASS believes the OffPeak program will foster higher driver earnings by enabling them to complete a greater number of turns during OffPeak shifts.”