This comprehensive guide provides answers to all queries regarding the pier pass fees. If you’re seeking to expand your knowledge on this topic, this guide is for you.

What is a Pier Pass Fee?

A pier pass fee is a mandatory additional charge levied on each cargo container that moves through the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports, regardless of the time of day. Established by these ports, the fee aims to mitigate traffic and port congestion, covering the costs for additional labor required to manage the port operations during peak and off-peak hours.

Who is Responsible for Paying the Pier Pass Fee?

The shipper or cargo owner bears the cost of the pier pass fee for containers that are imported or exported during any shift period.

What are the Advantages of the Pier Pass Fee?

The pier pass fee regulates the timing of container pickups and drop-offs, which has multiple benefits for various stakeholders in the supply chain:

For Cargo Owners

  • Extended hours for cargo collection and delivery lead to a smoother receipt of goods.
  • Production schedules remain on track due to the uninterrupted cargo flow.
  • Better resource planning owing to the steady cargo movement.

For the Community and Environment

  • Improved air quality from reduced emissions.
  • Decreased traffic congestion around the ports and their access roads.

For Port Operators

  • More consistent container movements lead to reduced congestion.
  • Enhanced vessel operations and more effective use of port space.

For Trucking Providers

  • Shorter wait times result in more trips per day, thanks to quicker service.

How was the Pier Pass Fee Introduced?

In 2005, the marine terminal operators in Long Beach and Los Angeles initiated the pier pass fee to address concerns related to port security, congestion, and air quality. The program included additional shifts on Saturdays and nights to manage the flow of trucks at both ports. With ongoing technological and industry advancements, the Off-Peak 2.0 program was introduced in 2018 to further improve efficiency.

What is the Cost of the Pier Pass Fee?

As of August 1st, 2021, the pier pass fee was established at $34.21 per TEU or $68.42 for larger container sizes, applicable during both day and night operations at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Is the Pier Pass Fee Based on the Container or Appointment?

The pier pass fee is charged per container as part of the current Off-peak program.

How Frequently is the Pier Pass Fee Updated?

Annually, the pier pass fee rates are reviewed and updates are announced on August 1st.

Does the Pier Pass Fee Affect All Shipping Services?

The fee is specific to FCL services moving through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. It does not apply to LCL, courier services, or air shipments into the U.S.

What are the Exemptions from the Pier Pass Fee?

Exemptions from the pier pass fee include, but are not limited to:

  • Domestic cargo
  • Rail intermodal containers
  • Bare chassis
  • Transshipped containers
  • Empty containers
  • Bobtail trucks

How Does the Pier Pass Fee Differ from the Clean Truck Fee?

While the clean truck fee, part of the Clean Air Action Plan by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, focuses on reducing air pollution, the pier pass fee specifically applies to containers transported through these ports during designated hours.

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