Terminals in Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach Move Start of Chassis Rule to September 1

LONG BEACH, Calif., Aug. 1, 2016 – The West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) has extended the implementation date of a new tariff rule for chassis services by one month until September 1. The rule applies to chassis owned by chassis leasing companies that receive services from WCMTOA’s marine terminal members at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The chassis system in the United States has been in flux for several years as shipping lines have moved away from providing the chassis (the truck trailer onto which containers are mounted) as part of their services. Since 2014, users in Los Angeles-Long Beach have arranged chassis directly with the leasing companies.

However, the terminals haven’t been compensated by the leasing companies for basic services provided such as storage space, stacking and unstacking the chassis, and electronic data interchange (which tells the chassis lessors who is using their chassis). Since the chassis leasing companies formed a “pool of pools” in early 2015, the terminals have been working with the leasing companies to address the compensation and services issues.

The new Rule 15 of WCMTOA’s Marine Terminal Schedule No. 1 describes the “On-Terminal Chassis Services” provided and establishes the “Chassis Services Fee.” The rule provides for a $5 fee each time a chassis enters or leaves the terminal, to cover the cost of services. The fee will be collected by PierPass on chassis with loaded or empty containers mounted, but not on bare chassis. MTO Schedule No. 1 is available at http://goo.gl/QihQ1u.

No fees will be charged for chassis that are owned directly by cargo owners or trucking companies, as these owners don’t require the services provided to leasing companies. Neither cargo owners or trucking companies need register their chassis under Rule 15.

Rule 15 was originally scheduled to take effect today, August 1. On Friday, PierPass informed the FMC that it was extending the start date to September 1, giving the leasing companies additional time to implement the change without impacting cargo flow in the ports.

The West Coast MTO Agreement is filed with the Federal Maritime Commission, and comprises the 13 marine terminal operators serving the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.


PierPass Terminals Embrace Appointment Systems at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to Control Congestion

LONG BEACH, Calif., August 27, 2015 – In the latest in a series of measures to combat congestion, PierPass Inc. today announced that 10 of its member container terminals have agreed on a coordinated initiative to establish appointment systems for trucks delivering containers to and from the terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The terminals have adopted an appointment system action plan and committed to a set of common requirements. The five terminals that currently operate appointment systems have agreed to adopt these requirements, and five more terminals plan to introduce appointment systems in 2016 that will follow the same guidelines.

All the terminals have agreed that their individual appointment systems will share these rules in common:

  1. Appointments will be mandatory at all participating terminals. At times, appointments have been treated as optional, which has reduced the intended benefit of smoothing out truck traffic flow.
  2. The appointment systems will apply to import containers at all terminals. Appointments for exports are being evaluated as a potential future requirement.
  3. All individual terminal appointment systems will be accessible via links from PierPass’ websites.

“The increasing number of containers unloaded by larger new ships has put the traditional random-access system – where any truck can arrive at any time to pick up any container – under strain,” said John Cushing, president of PierPass, a not-for-profit company created by marine terminal operators at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to address multi-terminal issues such as congestion, air quality and security. “Appointment systems are part of the growing set of tools terminals are embracing to fight congestion and reduce turn times, alongside innovations including free flow and the OffPeak program of night and Saturday truck gates.”

“Since we updated our appointment system in 2014, we have seen a marked decline in queuing at our gates and better turn times for our truckers,” said Mark Wheeler, vice president and general manager at West Basin Container Terminal (WBCT) in Los Angeles.

For truck drivers, trucking companies and cargo owners, the appointment systems will add predictability to the supply chain. The variable queue lengths at different times of the day will be flattened out, which is expected to reduce the longer truck turn times. Appointment systems also allow terminals to group appointments for specific stacks of containers, reducing the time spent waiting for container-moving yard equipment to move between stacks.

“Coordinating pick-ups and deliveries with the trucking companies will increase productivity for the truckers and for our terminal operations,” said Sean Lindsay, chief operating officer of International Transportation Service (ITS) terminal in Long Beach. “Therefore, we will be implementing an appointment system in 2016 to achieve this.”

The following terminals currently have appointment systems:

1. APM Terminals (APMT)
2. Eagle Marine Services (EMS / GGS)
3. West Basin Container Terminal (WBCT)
4. Seaside Transportation Services (STS / Evergreen)
5. Total Terminals International (TTI)

Terminals planning to implement appointment systems in 2016:
1. Trapac
2. Long Beach Container Terminal (LBCT)
3. SSA Terminals (Long Beach) (Pier A)
4. International Transportation Service (ITS)
5. Pacific Maritime Services (PCT)