PierPass Members Add Common Business Rules to Terminal Appointment Systems

LONG BEACH, Calif., April 30, 2018—The members of the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA)—the 12 marine terminal operators at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach—have agreed to add common business rules for the appointment systems that will become part of the OffPeak program later this year. Subject to regulatory approval, the revised OffPeak program, which is administered by PierPass, is expected to begin in August.

The terminals agreed to add the common business rules—operational procedures that all terminals will follow—in response to requests from trucking companies and other stakeholders.

The new common business rules include an appointment window—the time span between the earliest and latest times a truck can arrive for an appointment, including grace periods—of two hours for all appointments. In addition, all terminals agreed that their last appointment times of the day will be 3:30 p.m. on the first shift and 1:30 a.m. on the second shift. The new business rules will take effect when the new program begins, and are expected to increase efficiencies for users when planning appointments at more than one terminal.

PierPass also clarified that the new system, which some have referred to as “PierPass 2.0,” won’t require appointments for individual import containers being picked up from peel-off piles. Trucking companies and cargo owners will continue to arrange for a single time window to pick up entire blocks of containers going to the same company or destination from a single container terminal.

Earlier this month, PierPass announced it will overhaul the system used by the OffPeak program for truck traffic mitigation at the two adjacent ports, replacing the current congestion pricing model with an appointment-based system that uses a single TEU-based flat fee on both daytime and nighttime container moves. The change has been welcomed by port leadership and by trucking industry associations as a way to improve flexibility and reduce the bunching up of trucks in late afternoons.

PierPass is scheduling a combined meeting of the PierPass Advisory Committee and Extended Gates Subcommittee in October. This will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to provide feedback and suggestions after implementation of the new system.

A Q&A about the revised OffPeak program is available at www.pierpass.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/QA-on-New-OffPeak-Program_4-16-18.pdf. The West Coast MTO Agreement is a discussion agreement filed with the FMC. For more information and to track continuing developments, please go to www.pierpass.org.

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