Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Long Beach Port to Crack Down on Drayoffs

Port-servicing trucking firms at the Port of Long Beach who illegally try to game port environmental rules will soon find their wallets getting hit hard.

Port officials plan to crack down on truckers involved in the practice of using Clean Truck Program-compliant trucks to pick up containers at the ports and then switching the loaded chassis to older more polluting tractors at a nearby off-port location. Known as "drayoff," the activity violates the rules of the port's Clean Trucks Programs.

While illegal under the port truck programs, port security officers and other law enforcement agencies will now be aggressively looking for violators. Trucking firms found engaging in the activity will be subject to fines between $150 and $250 per violation, as well as possible revocation of their port access license.

Under the port's Clean Trucks Program which took effect in 2008, older trucks were banned from servicing the port facilities, however, many of these older trucks remain in service outside the ports. Using the drayoff technique allows trucking firms to move a greater number of containers with fewer clean trucks, which according to the port, defeats the emission-cutting concept of the Clean Truck Program and puts fully-compliant truck firms at a disadvantage.

Port security officers and other law enforcement agencies will now begin frequenting known back streets and other less-trafficked areas just outside the port boundaries where drayoffs are known to take place. Port officials believe that the actual number of violators is probably low.