Los Angeles, Long Beach ports finalize bonuses for certain concessionaires

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line staff writer | 11/11/2008

The Port of Los Angeles has reportedly moved forward with a new $50 million incentive plan for trucking companies that do business as port concessionaires.

The Cunningham Report has reported that the Los Angeles Harbor Commission has approved giving motor carriers who are licensed port concessionaires a $20,000 payment for each truck with a 2007 model year engine that is committed to port drayage. The carriers also would be eligible to receive $10 per container moved for trucks with 600 “drays per year” at the San Pedro ports, the Web site noted. The bonus would be capped at $10,000 annually.

After the port opened the incentive program in August, more than 100 companies responded and agreed to bring 7,000 trucks into the ports. That response, The Cunningham Report noted, spurred port staff to close the program in mid-September.

The incentive program comes after the ports began doling out cash for a $2.2 billion truck-replacement program, which offers approved concessionaires between 50 percent and 80 percent of the price of a new truck.

Because the incentive program was negotiated during the same time when mega-motor carriers Swift Transportation and Knight Transportation announced their own plans to jump into the drayage business at the twin ports, some critics of the incentive program believe it favors large companies.

The twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach each have approved similar versions of a Clean Trucks Program, including bans on pre-1989 trucks that took effect Oct. 1, and a phase-in of other older truck engine bans until all trucks are required to meet 2007 emissions standards by 2012.

Each port is requiring most drayage trucks to register and become licensed concessionaires for repeated port entry. The ports also are requiring drivers to show they’ve at least applied for enrollment into the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program.

Officials with both ports have said they’ll allow long-haulers to make 12 visits to the ports per year, although each visit will cost $100.

OOIDA officials have said they’ll continue to discuss their views with port leaders, including the Association’s concerns that the $100 price is too high.

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