Shipper says it has met Long Beach truck standard

| 1/17/2008

A major Asian shipper says it already has complied with the port of Long Beach’s Clean Truck Program.

Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line officials announced they would voluntarily stop using trucks with pre-1990 engines in January, ahead of the port’s Oct. 1 deadline, according to a company news release.

In November 2007, the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach approved clean truck programs that ban pre-1989 trucks by the fall of 2008. The new regs will ban all trucks that don’t meet 2007 emission standards by 2012.

“Once again, OOCL has shown its strong commitment to the environment,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Richard D. Steinke, according to a company news release. “We commend our partner, OOCL, for taking a leadership role to help ensure the success of the Clean Trucks Program.”

Other parts of the twin ports’ Clean Truck Program have been criticized for what opponents say go beyond clean air into labor organization.

The ports have each approved $35 container fee per 20-foot-equivalent unit. Also, each port plan to consider approving in February a plan backed by the Teamsters Union to require all truck drivers to be company employees, and to limit port entry to trucks from companies that are licensed by the port as concessionaires.

OOIDA has expressed concerns that the Teamsters-backed plan will exclude long-haul drivers who make occasional port visits, and force owner-operators to pay additional fees to drivers with access. OOIDA officials met with the Federal Maritime Commission in October 2007 to convey those concerns.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer