WASHINGTON: The West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) recently announced that on August 1, 2017, the Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will increase by 2.3 percent. The adjustment matches the combined 2.3 percent increase in longshore wage and assessment rates that take effect on July 1. The San Pedro Bay ocean cargo gateways are the nation’s top container load centers. Beginning August 1, the TMF will be $72.09 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) or $144.18 per forty- foot container. The TMF is charged only on containers that are moved between 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on weekdays. No TMF is due for containers moved during OffPeak shifts (6:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. on weekdays or 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays).
OffPeak provides these regular night and Saturday work shifts to handle trucks delivering and picking up containers at the 13 container terminals in the two adjacent ports. PierPass launched the OffPeak program in 2005 to reduce severe cargo-related congestion and air pollution on local streets and highways around the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. Nearly half of all port truck trips now take place during the OffPeak shifts. Using a congestion pricing model, PierPass charges a TMF on weekday daytime cargo moves to “incentivize” cargo owners to use the OffPeak shifts. The TMF also helps offset the cost of operating extended gate hours. Labor costs are the largest single component of extended gate costs.
According to PierPass, an analysis by KPMG LLP “validates” the methodology it uses to calculate the cost of operating the OffPeak extended gates program at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. “As PierPass works with industry stakeholders to evaluate alternative ways of providing the extended gates offering, this timely analysis gives us confidence that we understand the true cost of operating a second shift at the ports,” said PierPass President John Cushing. KPMG’s analysis found that the 2015 costs reported by PierPass are consistent with the underlying data and methodology used in program calculations, spokesmen added.