The first day of using RFID tags caused a reported 1,500 trucks to be turned away from the Port of Los Angeles and delays of more than an hour at the Port of Long Beach.
The mega ports – which during prosperous times claimed to import 40 percent of the nation’s goods – approved Clean Truck Programs this past fall that banned pre-1989 diesel engine trucks. The Clean Truck Programs will ban pre-1994 trucks on Jan. 1, 2010. By January 2012, all diesel trucks with engines 2006 and older will be banned.
The ports began charging $35 per 20-foot container unit on Wednesday, Feb. 18, and used RFID to control the access. In some cases, the RFID didn’t work, and many long traffic jams resulted, several newspapers reported.
According to the Daily Breeze, an estimated 15 percent of drivers were denied access from the ports because of not having the Clean Truck Plan-required RFID chips.
The Port of Long Beach, ironically, has scheduled a special Harbor Commission meeting for Monday to consider lowering some container fees in an effort to increase port traffic, which is down about 25 percent from a year ago.
– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer
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