Ports of Long Beach and LA: All is well with RFID program

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line staff writer | 2/20/2009

One day after nearly 20 percent of trucks encountered difficulty at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the following day went smoothly, Long Beach officials said.

The twin ports – which during prosperous times claimed to import 40 percent of the nation’s goods – approved Clean Truck Programs this past fall, which 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. For many drivers on that first day, the RFID didn’t work, and many long traffic jams resulted, several newspapers reported.

Art Wong, Port of Long Beach public information officer, said in a press release Thursday that 90 percent of trucks had no problem entering the Port of Long Beach during the new program’s second day.

“There was no congestion Thursday,” the release stated. “Truck traffic moved smoothly.”

Traffic is also much improved at the Port of Los Angeles, said Arley Baker, a spokesman for the Los Angeles port.

Baker said many trucks that weren’t prepared were turned away on Wednesday, though at least 90 percent of trucks since are compliant and aren’t causing traffic backups.

“Things are going real well,” Baker told Land Line Now.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer

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