Port of Los Angeles is a key player in California’s
goods movement initiatives, which highlight
transportation improvement projects and dockworker
safety issues. Current
related development projects include a Port-wide
transportation master plan for roadways and facilities;
new on- and near-dock rail facilities; truck driver
studies; extended terminal gates; and terminal free time
to encourage the use of extended-hour gates. Coupled
with the recent 51 percent increase in dockworker
employment, the OffPeak program, implemented by PierPASS,
contributes to keeping the Port complex open and cargo
moving without the threat of congestion.
Port of Los Angeles Transportation Master Plan
The Port of Los Angeles is currently developing a
Port-wide transportation master plan for roadways in and
around its facilities. Present and future traffic
improvement needs are being determined, based on
existing and projected traffic volumes. This three-year
effort will be completed by the end of 2006. The results
will be a Transportation Master Plan providing ideas on
what to expect and how to prepare for the future
volumes. Some of the transportation improvements under
consideration include: I-110/SR-47/Harbor Blvd.
interchange improvements; Navy Way connector (grade
separation) to westbound Seaside Ave.; south Wilmington
grade separations; and additional traffic capacity
analysis for the Vincent Thomas Bridge.
Additional On-Dock Rail Facility
The Port of Los Angeles has on-dock rail facilities
at all but one container terminal in the port complex.
The Port of Los Angeles is in the process of preparing
the necessary environmental documents and design
drawings for a new on-dock rail facility at the TraPac
terminal. It is expected that this new on-dock rail
facility could eliminate more than 200,000 truck trips
per year into and out of the terminal. Estimated year of
completion is 2009.
Southern California International Gateway
The Port of Los Angeles is developing a new near dock
rail facility, which will be operated by Burlington
Northern Santa Fe (BNSF). This facility will be used to
handle Port related intermodal containers.
The proposed site for this facility is Port of
Los Angeles property north of Pacific Coast Highway,
south of Sepulveda Boulevard and west of the SR103.
Today, port related containers moving between the BNSF
railyard and the ports travel on the I-710 freeway. Once
this facility is fully operational, it is expected that
one million port-related trucks could be eliminated from
the I-710 freeway per year. Estimated year of completion
Expressway/Schuyler Heim Bridge Replacement
The SR-47 Port Access Expressway will build a four-lane
elevated highway from Terminal Island to Alameda Street
north of Anaheim Street and south of Pacific Coast
Highway. Caltrans and the Alameda Corridor
Transportation Authority (ACTA) are heading up this
project. In addition, the project will provide for the
replacement of the seismically deficient Heim lift
bridge over the Cerritos Channel with a fixed span
bridge. The draft EIR is being prepared. Sources
for funding the $40 million design and $350 million
construction have not yet been determined. This project
would reduce approximately 6-7% of the port related
truck traffic on the I-710 freeway. Completion date is
approximately 2011 but is based on available funding.
Some federal funding was approved for part of the
Terminal Free Time
Prior to July 2005, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach
tariffs provide five free days for import containers and
seven free days for export containers on the terminals.
In order to improve the velocity of equipment at the
terminals and encourage the usage of off-peak gates, on
July 1, 2005, the ports, with the approval of the California Association of
Port Authorities (CAPA), reduced free time down to four days for imports and down to six
days for exports. Additionally, by mid-2006,
CAPA will consider further reducing free time to three
days for imports and five days for exports.
Extended Terminal Gates
Through the efforts of the Port of Los Angeles
Regional Goods Movement Task Team, a recommendation was
made that a fee be assessed to the cargo owner for usage
of terminal gates during peak commuter hours. The fee
could be used to help offset the cost of off-peak gates.
The shipping industry responded with the implementation
of the OffPeak program, managed
by PierPASS, an organization
created by marine terminal operators
provides five off-peak terminal gates on the same day,
same shift – at all 13 terminals within the Ports of
Los Angeles and Long Beach. A $40-per-TEU fee is charged to the
beneficial cargo owners for all containers arriving at
the San Pedro Bay ports. If a container is moved during
one of the off-peak terminal gates or via rail, the
beneficial cargo owner receives a refund of that fee.
Originally projected to increase off-peak gate usage to
more than 40 percent,
the OffPeak program has exceeded expectations by
successfully increasing cargo movement, reducing
truck-waiting time inside port terminals and truck traffic during peak daytime commuting periods.
For more information about PierPASS/OffPeak, call 1-877-863-3310.
Shuttle Train/Inland Container Yard
The Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA)
estimates that two million TEUs per year travel from the
ports to the Inland Empire (Colton, Ontario, Mira Loma,
etc). The Inland Empire is home to over 350 million
square feet of warehousing. Most of the port related
containers are carried on the heavily traveled I-710,
I-10 and I-60 freeways.
ACTA is planning to implement a pilot program rail
shuttle service between the ports’ on-dock rail
facilities and a rail facility in Colton. The pilot
program will consist of a daily train to and from
Colton. The containers will be trucked between the
Colton rail facility and the beneficial cargo owners’
facility. This will help reduce the number of trucks on
the freeways and improve truck driver turn time. Due to
the added handling in rail and trucking costs vs.
trucking, ACTA is seeking $5 million in subsidies to
offset the difference in costs. In the long-term, ACTA is looking for a permanent
inland location, added track capacity and the ability to
operate five shuttle trains per day.
Origin/Destination and Toll Study
The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach recently
conducted a truck driver survey, which will identify the
origin and destination of international containers in
the Los Angeles area. This information will be useful to
determine the location of warehouses and identify the
routes truck drivers used to move containers to and from
Additionally, the bridges serving Terminal Island
(Vincent Thomas, Gerald Desmond and Heim Bridge) are not
currently designed to handle the trade volumes projected
at the San Pedro Bay ports. In order to identify funding
mechanisms to replace/enhance these bridges, the Ports
of Los Angeles and Long Beach also are conducting a toll
study. This toll study will explore potential funding
sources for bridge replacement and truck driver behavior
if tolls were assessed on the bridges servicing the San
Pedro Bay Ports. The study and analysis should be
completed in late 2005.
Virtual Container Yard
A study conducted in 2000 indicated that
approximately 1.1 million import containers are emptied
in Southern California. Virtually all these containers
come back empty to the San Pedro Bay ports.
Additionally, the study indicates that 500,000 empty
containers were trucked from the marine terminals to be
loaded with export cargo. ACTA and the Ports of Los Angeles and
Long Beach are exploring implementing a system that
would match an empty container from an import move to an
empty export move. This could eliminate a number of
empty container movements on the highway.
Increased On-Dock Rail Usage
The railroads are working with the shipping lines and
terminal operators in consolidating neighboring
terminals’ intermodal volume to create larger trains
to interior points, thereby eliminating truck
transportation to the rail ramps.
Community Outreach and Support
The Port of Los Angeles is soliciting goods movement
input from the community and sharing information on this
subject to community stakeholders. The community has
been involved in the development of the Port’s current
Union Pacific Railroad Initiative
This initiative shifts international intermodal volume
from the downtown Los Angeles rail ramp to the existing
intermodal yard four miles from the Port, which could
eliminate an estimated 500,000 truck trips a year from
the I-710 freeway.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
Many terminals at both the Ports of Los Angeles and
Long Beach have implemented OCR technology, which
eliminates the need to type container numbers in the computer system.
This expedites the truck driver through terminal gates.
Truck Driver Appointment System
Many of the terminals at both the Ports of Los
Angeles and Long Beach have implemented an appointment
system that provides a pre-notification to terminals
regarding which containers are planned to be picked up.
State of California Goods Movement and Ports
The Secretary of Business, Transportation, and Housing
Department along with the Secretary of the California
Environmental Protection Agency held numerous meetings
to identify public-private partnerships in goods
movement and environmental programs, with a focus on
achieving shared goals. The state unveiled a draft goods
movement action plan, which highlights transportation
projects, environmental programs, and safety issues.
These meetings demonstrate the State's commitment in
providing a much needed goods movement infrastructure.