The Los Angeles-Long Beach clean-truck fee, a much maligned but effective tool for reducing pollution, will no longer be assessed to shippers beginning Jan. 1, 2012.
Since the fee is charged only on 2006 or older trucks, and those trucks will be banned from port service beginning Jan. 1, the fee will expire at the end of this year.
The Southern California ports in February 2009 began assessing beneficial cargo owners a fee of $35 per-TEU when the trucks moving their containers into and out of marine terminals were older than 1994.
The fee was never popular with the shipping community, and competing ports marketed themselves as “fee-free” alternative gateways. However, the program accomplished its goal. Motor carriers the past three years have replaced almost 10,000 older trucks with compliant trucks.
In a joint statement, Los Angeles and Long Beach said PortCheck, the on-line portal though which fees are paid, will remain open in January 2012 for payment of billed and accrued clean-truck fees. PortCheck will also refund fees that were deposited in accounts but not spent. “Customers should check their accounts and request their deposit no later than Jan. 15, 2012,” the ports stated.