Port of L.A. incentive program aims to improve truck turn time

January 22, 2021

Tyson Fisher


The Port of Los Angeles has rolled out its Truck Turn-Time and Dual-Transaction Incentive program in an effort to move trucks in and out of the terminals quicker and more efficiently.

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, the Port of Los Angeles announced two different methods by which terminal operators can earn financial awards through its Truck Turn-Time and Dual-Transaction Incentive program. Method 1: Reduce drop off and pick-up time for trucks. Method 2: Having trucks handle both transactions in the same trip.

Terminal that can reduce truck turn times by 5% to 20% will receive between 50 cents and $2.75 per loaded or empty container. How much a terminal receives depends on how much it improves its turn times. According to a news release, a terminal that averages turn times of 35 minutes or less in a given month can earn the top rate of $3 per container.

The Truck Turn-Time and Dual-Transaction Incentive gives terminal another opportunity to earn from 40 cents to $1.40 per container. That can be accomplished when at least half of all trucks dropping off a container leave with another during the same trip. Similar to the other incentive, the dual-transaction incentives go up as the percentage of dual transactions increase. Percentages are calculated by taking the number of dual transactions out of all gate moves for the month.

The Truck Turn-Time and Dual-Transaction Incentive begins on Feb. 1. Estimated costs for the port are about $7.5 million for the first year.

According to a news release, drayage trucks handle approximately three-quarters of all import and export containers moving through the Port of Los Angeles. Facilitating $276 billion in trade in 2019, the port is the leading seaport in North America by container volume and cargo value.

The incentive program is just the latest move from the port to improve the flow of cargo. In September, the port launched a data tool called The Signal. Stakeholders can access key information and metrics that allows them to plan and prepare for inbound cargo.

In November, the Port of Los Angeles launched another data tool dubbed The Return Signal. That program lets the trucking industry know when and where to return empty containers to terminals.

The Truck Turn-Time and Dual-Transaction Incentive may provide terminal operators some relief from charges established in 2020. Last March, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach harbor commissions approved a Clean Truck Fund rate of $10 and $20.

Cargo coming out of the two ports will be hit with a fee of $10 per loaded 20-foot equivalent unit or $20 per loaded 40-foot equivalent unit. The fee will be charged to the “beneficial cargo owner” for loaded containers hauled by a truck.

Commissioners also voted to eliminate language regarding certain exemptions. Zero-emission trucks will be exempt from the Clean Truck Fund rate. However, language exempting low-NOx or near-zero emission trucks was waived. LL