The Port of Los Angeles says that a new strategy to expedite the movement of containerized cargo through the port is beginning to pay off.
The program, called the “Peel Off” Program, was launched February 25 as a way to clear the backlog of containers from recent congestion problems at West Coast ports and improve the flow of cargo going forward.
“We have found an efficient way to get containers to their destination that is beginning to pay off,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We’re acting on our pledge to our customers to harmonize the supply chain and make it work better. Permanently.”
The Port teamed with stevedoring company The Pasha Group, harbor trucking firm Total Transportation Services Inc. (TTSI), several marine container terminal operators and a core group of major retailers to create the program, which involves “peeling off” containers of high-volume customers to a near-dock yard where they are sorted for destination to inland distribution centers.
“The trucks are doing exactly what everyone needs them to do – make more turns every day,” said TTSI President and CEO Vic La Rosa. “This single step eliminates multiple inefficient moves so cargo flows faster and more reliably.”
“We’ve created something that’s going to work for years to come,” said Jeff Burgin, senior vice president of Pasha Stevedoring & Terminals L.P., which is managing the near-dock “Peel Off” yard. “We’re prepared to expand this model throughout the harbor.”
Under “Peel Off,” import containers loaded with goods belonging to high-volume shippers are stacked together in a block upon arrival at the Port. The terminals expedite TTSI trucks through their gates to retrieve the containers and deliver them to the near-dock yard less than a mile away where they are sorted. The same trucks then loop back to the terminals for the next inbound container. The trucks keep boxes moving by delivering outbound containers on the return leg.
The “Peel Off’ yard is located at Navy Way and Reeves Avenue on Port property. “While the program is geared for high-volume shippers, all customers benefit,” Seroka said. “Increasing terminal productivity has a positive ripple effect for everyone moving cargo through our Port.”
The yard is open six days a week from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. Currently, 17 acres are available for staging up to 500 containers. As demand grows, the facility can operate 24/7 and accommodate up to 650 containers.
International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) workers handle all gate and terminal operations at the “Peel Off” yard, including on-site chassis inspection, maintenance and repair.
Cargo owners can move their containers through the “Peel Off” yard in less than 48 hours and make those trips at night during off-peak traffic hours. TTSI has leased 250 chassis to ensure containers are on wheels and ready to roll. The parties are also coordinating their efforts with the new interchangeable chassis pool launched March 1 in the harbor complex.
“Peel Off” also offers clean air benefits by reducing truck trips, gate waits and idling. All trucks calling at the near-dock yard remain subject to the Port’s Clean Truck Program requirements.
“With bigger ships delivering more cargo in a single call, this program improves the way we all do business,” said Seroka. “It is also a prime example of how the Port of Los Angeles is bringing our partners together, facilitating meaningful dialogue and driving real solutions.”