The West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) announced that on August 1, 2021, the Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will increase by 2.2 per cent. The adjustment matches the combined 2.2 per cent increase in longshore wage and assessment rates that take effect in early July.
Beginning August 1, the TMF will be $34.21 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) or $68.42 for all other sizes of container. The TMF is charged on non-exempt containers. Containers exempt from the TMF include empty containers; import cargo or export cargo that transits the Alameda Corridor in a container and is subject to a fee imposed by the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority; and transshipment cargo. Empty chassis and bobtail trucks are also exempt.
The OffPeak program provides regularly scheduled night or Saturday shifts to handle trucks delivering and picking up containers at the 12 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 off-peak shifts. The container terminal operators mitigate truck traffic at their gates with appointment systems that spread truck trips out over the hours of operation.
The TMF helps offset the cost of operating extended gate hours. Labor costs are the largest single component of extended gate costs.
According to an analysis by maritime industry consultants SC Analytics, the net costs incurred by the terminals to operate the off-peak shifts in 2020 totalled $276 million. During that year, the terminals received $235 million from the TMF, offsetting about 85 per cent of the OffPeak program’s costs.