Oregon dry docks port bill

| Friday, September 19, 2003

A House bill prohibiting slow port operations at Oregon marine terminals has died.

The proposal called for prohibiting ports from making a truck tractor wait longer than 30 minutes before beginning loading or off-loading container cargo at a marine terminal.

Under HB2040, a terminal operator would be subject to a $300 fine if it made a truck wait longer than 30 minutes, and each delayed truck would be a separate violation. Terminals attempting to avoid requirements in the bill by diverting a truck to area roadways, alternate staging areas or forcing the truck to wait inside the gate would have been subject to a $600 fine.

The bill, which was in the House Transportation Committee when lawmakers adjourned Aug. 27, would have applied to ports with marine terminals that process 100,000 or more 20-foot equivalent unit containers per year.

Washington state failed to pass similar legislation earlier this year. HB1661 called for fining terminals $250 on every truck waiting longer than 30 minutes to enter a gate. A terminal would have been fined $700 for each diverted truck.

Each bill would have exempted terminals that operate an appointment system or maintain a fully staffed gate two hours before and after peak morning and afternoon times.

A similar bill passed last year in California and is already in effect. Port operators there face fines if they make trucks wait and idle more than 30 minutes to load or unload. In addition, under the California law, terminal operators are forbidden from passing the fine on to truckers. That bill contained similar appointment system exemptions.

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