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ILA Declares Solidarity With Port Drivers In Port of New York and New Jersey
International Longshoremen Association  /

NORTH BERGEN, NJ – (August 20, 2013) Port Drivers in the Port of New York and New Jersey have suffered undue hardship over the past several months due to major a computer breakdown at the port that often brought port operations to a standstill. These independent Port drivers, whose livelihoods are based on the number of moves they make, were subjected to massive traffic tie-ups that cut deeply into their ability to make a livable salary.

 The ILA has been doing everything in its power to assist our employers and the Port of New York and New Jersey to get operations up and running. Some sought to put blame for the slowdowns at the Port of New York and New Jersey on the ILA and even some Port Drivers believed the ILA to be at fault. Employers took responsibility for the major computer glitch and resulting slowdown and even praised the ILA for its assistance in ILA members working to the point of exhaustion to help unclog the congestion.

 "We stand fully behind our fellow workers, the independent port drivers in the Port of New York and New Jersey," said Dennis Daggett, President of the Atlantic Coast District, ILA and president of ILA Local 1804-1. "They took a big hit when the system went down. We all make our living when the port is working and we all share in the responsibility to make it happen."

 The ILA looks to work more closely with the independent Port Drivers and expresses its full solidarity with them to protect their livelihoods and improve their working conditions. 

Computer Problems Leave Goods Stranded at New York Port
The Wall Street Journal /

Snags at Port of New York and New Jersey Began in June With Launch of New Operating System at Maher Terminals

NEW YORK—Computer problems at one of the East Coast's biggest ports have snarled the flow of cargo across the Northeast for weeks, delaying the delivery of consumer goods needed for back-to-school sales and the start of the holiday shopping season.

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Marine Terminal Operators at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to Adjust TMF on August 19
PierPass  /

LONG BEACH, Calif., July 2, 2013 – The West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) today announced an 8.1 percent increase in the Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, scheduled to take effect on August 19, 2013. The increase will sustain continued operation of PierPass OffPeak gates amid labor cost increases.  Beginning August 19, the TMF will be increased by $5.00 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) to $66.50 per twenty-foot container or $133.00 per forty-foot container. The current TMF rates are $61.50 and $123.00 respectively.

Since 2011, WCMTOA has been adjusting the TMF annually based on changes in maritime labor costs. In May, the Pacific Maritime Association, which negotiates and administers maritime labor agreements with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), announced an 8.2 percent increase in wages and benefits for the 2013-14 contract year.  

The Traffic Mitigation Fee helps pay for the night and Saturday marine terminal shifts created by the PierPass OffPeak program to relieve daytime congestion in and around the ports. It also provides a financial incentive to move cargo during less-congested times. The TMF is charged for non-exempt containers moving during peak hours (Monday through Friday, 3 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

The terminals have operated the OffPeak gates at a loss since the program’s start in 2005, when they doubled the number of shifts per week, spreading the same number of containers over twice the working hours. Cargo volume since 2005 has been flat. The shortfall between TMF revenues and OffPeak gate costs was $66 million in 2012, $55 million in 2011 and $52 million in 2010. For more financial information about the program, please see

Before PierPass was created in 2005, the ports and nearby roads were gridlocked, ships were backed up in the harbor unable to unload, and cargo owners suffered long delays in receiving and shipping vital goods. Over the past eight years, PierPass OffPeak gates have grown to handle approximately 55 percent of all container traffic at the ports, accommodated more than 23 million truck transactions, and greatly eased congestion on city streets and nearby freeways during
daytime business hours.

“OffPeak is one of a series of programs by port stakeholders that have greatly reduced congestion and air pollution around North America’s busiest port complex,” said Bruce Wargo, president of PierPass, the not-for-profit company that runs the OffPeak program. “The program adds to the tremendous competitive advantage held by the Los Angeles / Long Beach port complex, which has the most concentrated set of assets of any port in the country, has a workforce that’s ready, available and flexible, and has made remarkable strides in mitigating impacts on local communities.”

About PierPass
PierPass is a not-for-profit company created by marine terminal operators at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in 2005 to address multi-terminal issues such as congestion, security and air quality. The West Coast Marine Terminal Operator Agreement (WCMTOA) is filed with the Federal Maritime Commission, and comprises the 13 international MTOs serving the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. For more information, please see

CBP Agriculture Specialists Seize Prohibited Iguana Meat, Bird at San Diego Ports
U.S. Customs & Border Protection /

San Diego, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa ports of entry seized iguana meat and a live bird, and assessed penalties to the travelers who failed to declare the prohibited agricultural items.

On Saturday, August 10, CBP agriculture specialists at the Otay Mesa port of entry seized a live half-moon conure that was concealed inside a woman’s handbag. The woman, a resident of Bell, California, entered the port in a vehicle and had been referred by a CBP officer for an agricultural inspection.

The bird was seized by CBP and transferred to the custody of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Veterinary Services for proper handling and quarantine.

On Sunday, August 11, a Reseda, California man returning from Colima, Mexico was referred for an agriculture inspection while crossing in a vehicle at the San Ysidro port of entry. While conducting an examination utilizing an agricultural canine, CBP agriculture specialists discovered almost 40 pounds of undeclared iguana meat and more than six pounds of undeclared pork meat concealed in an ice chest in the traveler’s vehicle.

CBP seized the iguana meat, which is regulated under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), and turned it over to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services for further review.

Both subjects were each assessed a $300 penalty and were released.

The half-moon conure population, native to western Mexico, has decreased in many areas due to illegal or unrestricted trade. In addition, according to USDA, birds from Mexico may carry exotic Newcastle disease (END), a virus which has had devastating impacts on the U.S. poultry industry.

CBP agriculture specialists protect the United States from the threat of invasive pests and diseases with inspection and prevention efforts designed to keep prohibited agricultural items from entering the United States.

San Diego CBP Nets 1,365 Pounds of Marijuana in Fish, 117 Pounds of Meth in Tires
U.S. Customs & Border Protection /

San Diego — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers on Monday discovered 1,365 pounds of marijuana in a shipment of fish at the Otay Mesa cargo facility and officers at the San Ysidro port of entry found 117 pounds of methamphetamine in the tires of a vehicle.

On August 19th, at about 6:30 a.m., a CBP officer encountered a 30-year-old male when he entered the Otay Mesa port driving a 2007 International bobtail truck with a shipment of frozen fish. The officers referred the truck to the dock for a more in-depth examination.

CBP officers ran the truck through the port’s imaging system and detected anomalies within the containers of fish. Officers removed the top layers of fish from each container and discovered a total of 173 packages of marijuana hidden underneath.

A total of 1,365 pounds of marijuana was offloaded, valued at an estimated $614,000.

The driver, a Mexican citizen, was arrested and booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

CBP seized the narcotics and conveyance.

Also on Monday, at about 5 a.m., at the San Ysidro port of entry, a canine team was screening vehicles waiting in line for inspection when the detector dog alerted to a 1998 Chevrolet 1500 pickup truck. Officers escorted the driver and vehicle for an intensive investigation.

Officers ran the truck through the port’s imaging system and found anomalies with the truck’s tires. They searched all four tires and found metal frames in each tire where they subsequently extracted 24 wrapped packages of methamphetamine, valued at $2.3 million.

Public Comments requested by October 22nd for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s Annual National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers
International Trade Administration  /

Read Federal Register Notice

Port Eliminates 81% of Diesel Air Pollution
 Port of Long Beach /

Report marks 6th consecutive year of air quality improvements

The Port of Long Beach has cut diesel particulates by 81 percent since 2005, according to an analysis released today. The results for 2012 mark six straight years of improving air quality in the harbor area thanks to the Port's focused efforts to reduce air pollution caused by goods movement. See the Emissions Inventory Fact Card.

The reasons for air quality improvements include bigger ships carrying cargo more efficiently, newer ships with cleaner engines, the Jan. 1, 2012 deadline for full implementation of the Clean Trucks Program, increasing use of shore power, and a new low-sulfur fuel rule for ships that started in August 2012.

Compared to 2005 emissions levels, all of the key air pollutants from port-related sources were reduced in 2012. In addition to the drop in diesel emissions, smog-forming nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides have been cut 54 percent and 88 percent respectively. Greenhouse gases were lowered by 24 percent. The reduction in pollutants far outpaced a 10 percent decline in containerized cargo activity in the same period.

"We've been aggressively pursuing cleaner air for a long time and as you can see from these numbers, we are succeeding. We’ve committed to do even more, to continue to reduce air pollution and its health effects," said Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Thomas Fields.

The report released Monday examines data from the 2012 calendar year. The study's results were reviewed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Air Resources Board and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

The annual analysis of air pollution from port sources -- literally an “emissions inventory” -- is conducted to check the Port’s progress in improving air quality. The San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan -- created in 2006 -- maps out a strategy to reduce or prevent pollution from the ships, trucks, locomotives, tractors and cranes that move cargo.

For the complete emissions inventory, go to

The Port of Long Beach is a recognized industry leader in environmental stewardship worldwide. The more than $150 billion in trade flowing through the Port of Long Beach each year creates more than 300,000 jobs in the Southern California region.


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