New operating hours in effect for LA ports; new fees delayed 48 hours

| Monday, July 25, 2005

It’s official. The extended operating hours for trucks at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are now in use, but new fees have been delayed until Wednesday.

The new fees were to begin Monday, July 25. The extended evening operating hours went into effect on Saturday, July 23. The extended hours are from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.

However, PierPASS, the private company that is running the program, said Monday that – because of an unexpected surge in last minute registrations – it would not begin collecting fees until July 27.

The program, called, OffPeak, has increased fees for trucks during peak daytime hours to anywhere from $40 per 20-foot equivalent unit to $80 for a 40-foot container.

Drivers wishing to use the port during peak hours – defined as weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. – must register with the OffPeak program. Pick-ups and deliveries outside of those hours will not be charged a fee.

A lot of truckers are unhappy with the changes. One unidentified group distributed fliers announcing a July 23 meeting to discuss a possible work stoppage, according to news reports. There has been no word as to whether the meeting actually took place or if a work stoppage is planned.

The Teamster’s Union has come out against any work stoppage — and is in favor of the extended hours, though union representatives have expressed concerns that the extended hours could lead to hours-of-service problems.

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