Under the terms of the updated agreement (FMC Agreement No. 201143), informally known as “PierPass 2.0,” the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) will implement two major changes:
• In the past, terminals charged a traffic mitigation fee (currently $72.09 per TEU) to shippers that had truckers pick up or deliver containers at the terminals during the day in order to encourage use of the terminals at night and reduce traffic congestion on surrounding roads. WCMTOA will charge a flat fee of $31.52 per TEU or maximum of $63.04, no matter when a trucker comes to a terminal. Empty containers, intermodal rail cargo, domestic cargo and transshipped cargo are exempt from the fee.
• To reduce traffic congestion, trucks retrieving and delivering containers will be required to have appointments. Nine of the 12 terminals currently have appointment systems. Under the revised PierPass 2.0, SSA Marine, which operates three terminals, also will start requiring appointments.
However, as part of the commission’s vote, the agency’s staff was directed to review how monitoring requirements on WCMTOA can be improved.
The FMC said the commissioners will consider and vote on staff recommendations on how to enhance monitoring of the agreement during a closed meeting in the coming weeks.
“Though not acting to stop the amendment from becoming effective, I continue to have concerns regarding the joint fee pricing process used by the terminal operators via WCMTOA,” said Acting FMC Chairman Michael A. Khouri in a statement.
FMC Commissioner Rebecca Dye added, “All parties concerned with the supply chain — carriers, terminal operators, truckers and shippers — should focus on port efficiency and cargo fluidity. I share Chairman Khouri’s concerns about aspects of PierPass and emphasize that achieving actual visibility into the supply chain will ultimately alleviate the need for programs like PierPass.”
WCMTOA originally filed the amendment on April 13. The commission issued a request for additional information on May 24, with a response received from WCMTOA on Oct. 5.