The cities and ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are at it again. They are trying to force every driver and every trucking company into the same mold by dictating drivers be employees rather than have the choice to be an independent entrepreneur.
There is enough room in this industry to accommodate both options, and it should be left up to the driver to determine what is best for his or her lifestyle.
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach Clean Air Action Plan 3.0 targets the industry (logistics) that accounts for less than 1% of Southern California’s total NOx, PM10, PM2.5, DPM and SOx emissions. What about the industries that produce the remaining 99+% of these pollutants? Do you hear that? Crickets.
Hubris [hyoo-bris], noun, excessive pride or self-confidence, arrogance, see southern California ports. (Okay, we added that last part.)
Last month, we highlighted the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) requiring zero-emission trucks and terminal equipment, but it warrants further discussion.
The cost of this program is wildly underestimated by the ports. They are betting on equipment that is yet to be tested and viable. They are also betting the cargo owners so love a Southern California Gateway they are willing to absorb the lion’s share of the burden.
Weigh that thinking with the fact that just last week, the Panama Canal celebrated its 2,000th neopanamax crossing since the opening of the new, larger locks just 15 months ago.
Wake up California! Cargo, like water, will find the course of least resistance.
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will increase the PierPass fee to $144.18 per 40′ effective August 1, 2017. The PierPass program assesses a Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) on all loaded container transactions completed during the day shift while the same transactions at night and on weekends are free.
The original goal of the program was to reduce traffic congestion on roadways surrounding the port area. There has always been quite a bit of discord about the amount of the fee and the lack of visibility of how it is spent.
From New York/New Jersey to Vancouver, BC…from Virginia to Oakland…even Los Angeles/Long Beach…drivers are fed up with the slow operations and congestion at marine terminals. The reasons for the slowdowns are myriad. Inclement weather, new computer systems, terminal consolidations, increase in volumes, chassis shortages, labor shortages and equipment failures are the most common.
Motor carriers, port authorities and industry groups are clamoring for improvement and a return to productive operations. Letters have been written. Task forces have been created. But the slowdowns remain. We cannot keep doing the same thing and hoping for a different outcome. Isn’t that a definition of insanity?
Ports America in Oakland is looking to stop the insanity. For the month of March, they are implementing a night gate each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 6:00pm to 3:00am. They will accept empty containers in and empty and loaded containers out. It is a trial to gauge the usage and productivity improvements. Motor carriers’ past experience with off-hour gates has not been overly positive, and it will take substantial coordination on container availability both in and out as well as driver hours of service. Nevertheless, we applaud Ports America on making this significant investment in an effort to smooth operations. We will keep you posted on the progress and effectiveness of these night gates.