LA-LB Terminals End Uniform Chassis Fee

Marine terminal operators at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have stopped assessing  a 5$ gate fee on chassis entering their facilities after a regulatory challenge from chassis lessors, as the Journal of Commerce reports.

The organization representing marine terminal operators in Los Angeles-Long Beach said that the individual terminals will negotiate directly with chassis-leasing companies on compensation for hosting their equipment.

Those individual negotiations are already underway, said PierPass Inc. President John Cushing, who represents the West Coast Marine Terminal Operating Agreement. Member companies will most likely be seeking compensation for chassis storage, the use of longshore labor to stack and unstack chassis and reimbursement for electronic data interchange transmission of data on chassis usage, which the intermodal equipment providers use to bill customers.

“WCMTOA’s member terminals affirm their right to seek compensation for the costly services they provide to chassis-leasing companies at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach,” the organization stated in a release. “It costs terminals more than $200,000 per acre per year to lease land from the ports, and the terminals each have many acres stacked with chassis.”

The $5 services fee, which the 13 container terminals intended to charge each time a chassis entered or left the facility, drew opposition from the IEPs, or intermodal equipment providers (Flexi-Van, Direct ContainerLink and TRAC Intermodal), since it was first proposed in July.

The IEPs on Aug. 9 filed a petition for an order to show cause with the Federal Maritime Commission, charging that the fee would violate the Shipping Act of 1984. The IEPs said that from the beginning any negotiations for compensation should be handled on a terminal-by-terminal basis because each facility is different in terms of how much land it reserves for container storage, its individual operating costs and requirements for how many chassis it needs on hand to run its business.

Harbor truckers have been involved in the issue as well because chassis availability and the location of chassis storage sites have a direct impact on their operations.

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