It is one year since appointments have been mandated for draymen retrieving import containers by all terminals in the two ports, under what is informally called 'PierPass 2.0.'
The purpose of the appointments is to relieve congestion at the ports and surrounding roads by spreading out port traffic throughout the day and the night, reports American Shipper.
In the past appointments were not required, but shippers were incentivised to have their truckers pick up containers at night by waiving a US$72.09 per TEU traffic mitigation fee that was charged on cargo picked up during the day.
With the switch to PierPass 2.0, WCMTOA is now charging a flat fee of $31.52 per TEU (or a maximum of $63.04 on larger containers), no matter when a trucker comes to a terminal. Empty containers, intermodal rail cargo, domestic cargo and transshipped cargo are exempt from the fee.
The Federal Maritime Commission reviewed the changes made by WCMTOA and allowed PierPass 2.0 to move forward.
Before PierPass 2.0, trucks would commonly line-up at the entrance to container terminals between 3 pm and 6 pm to be among the first to enter the terminals when the lower traffic mitigation fee went into effect.
With the off-peak discount eliminated, PierPass says 'long late-afternoon queues at the entrance terminals have been eliminated, and ample appointment opportunities are available for each container. On average, port terminals are offering about one-third more appointment slots than there are containers to be picked up.'
PierPass says 'terminals have also been working with the trucking community and other stakeholders to add new types of appointment-based services to help truckers achieve greater efficiency, taking advantage of the scalability and flexibility they gained by switching to an appointment-based system.'
'Terminals continue offering at least two peak shift and two off-peak shift appointments for each container prior to free time expiration, providing multiple options for each pickup,' said John Cushing, president and chief executive officer of PierPass. 'Over the past year, many terminals have also introduced new services. All of this gives the cargo community an enhanced traffic mitigation system, which is running smoothly a year in.'