Rail Activity

Philip Davies and Le Griffin Present Paper on Port Congestion at Ninth International Urban Freight Conference 2022 (INUF 2022)

The paper titled Container Terminal Fluidity – Adjusting to the New Normal focuses on policies to reduce container dwell times on port terminals to minimize congestion. The surge in demand for imports of consumer goods which resulted from the COVID pandemic has highlighted structural problems in container logistics at North American ports. The Southern California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have been most affected due to terminal congestion from long dwell times for both import and empty containers which prevents the efficient flow of containers through the facility.

Container terminals at the Port of Vancouver permanently adopted policies to reduce dwell times for containers following severe congestion problems in 2005 and 2006. The Port of Vancouver example suggests that permanent policies to reduce the dwell time of containers at port terminals are an effective means of improving the throughput capacity of the limited port land base. This paper assesses the applicability of these policies to the Southern California container logistics system.

Philip Davies is Principal of Davies Transportation Consulting Inc., and Hanh LeGriffin, Ph.D. is Ports & Maritime Planning & Logistics Lead for Burns & McDonnell and an Adjunct Professor at Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California and. The International Urban Freight Conference (I-NUF) is the premier biennial conference that addresses all aspects of city logistics and goods movement in the world’s metropolitan areas. The 9th INUF was hosted by METRANS, a joint partnership of the University of Southern California and California State University, Long Beach in Long Beach CA on May 25-27, 2022.

DTCI completes Canadian and US Port Infrastructure Funding and Policy Study for the Northwest Seaport Alliance, Port of Long Beach and Port of Oakland

DTCI led this study in collaboration with Hatch for the Northwest Seaport Alliance, Port of Long Beach and Port of Oakland to review and analyze federal funding of port-related projects in BC, Washington State, and California from 2005 to 2020. The scope of the project included a review of Canadian and U.S. programs for funding of coastal port-related investments; a review of Canadian federal funding for the Ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, Nanaimo, and Port Alberni; a review of U.S. federal funding for the Northwest Seaport Alliance, Port of Long Beach, Port of Los Angeles and Port of Oakland and for smaller ports in Washington State and California which received funding under federal infrastructure programs; a review of collaborative planning and advocacy efforts by the Greater Vancouver Gateway Council and Gateway Transportation Collaboration Forum that contributed to the region’s success in obtaining federal funding; and analysis and synthesis of lessons learned and recommendations for future planning, competitiveness, and advocacy activities. The study found that Canadian federal contributions to B.C. port projects have substantially exceeded U.S grants to Washington State and California ports over the last five years, and Canadian federal policies have treated West Coast ports as a national priority. The full Final Report and Technical Appendix are available here.

DTCI completes study on Transload Activity at West Coast Ports for Transport Canada

DTCI was engaged by Transport Canada Economic Analysis to undertake a study analyzing import, export and empty container volumes by mode and routing for the Ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert; and identifying and mapping import and export transload facilities at both ports. Data resources include confidential CN and CP rail origin-destination data provided by Transport Canada, Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) intermodal rail statistics, and confidential port terminal statistics provided by both Port authorities. This is an update of a similar study conducted for Transport Canada in 2017. The study was completed in March 2021.

DTCI completes Transload Feasibility Study for City of Lloydminster

DTCI was engaged by the City of Lloydminster to assess the feasibility of development of a rail-truck transload facility on three sites owned by the City. The project was carried out in collaboration with Hooper Engineering and Wave Point Consulting. The scope of the project included assessment of regional freight demand; identification of regional transportation service providers and shippers; consultation and interviews with industrial and commercial businesses; and rail facility site selection analysis. Conceptual site plans and detailed cost analyses were developed for two options for 20-car and 40-car manifest train-served transload facilities and a loop track facility. A pro forma financial analysis was developed for a “bare-bones” facility handling Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) and other steel products with the bare minimum of infrastructure to begin operations.

DTCI completes Clean Truck Fund Rate Study for Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach

DTCI led this project for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to analyze the effects of implementing a Clean Truck Fund Rate (CTFR) on the local drayage market and port traffic. The CTFR will be charged to beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) for each loaded container move by truck if the truck is not compliant with near-zero or zero-emissions standards. The CTFR is a component of Ports’ proposed Clean Trucks Program under the Clean Air Action Plan Update 2017 (CAAP). The study was undertaken in collaboration with Darryl Anderson of Wave Point Consulting of Victoria; Gill Hicks of Gill V. Hicks and Associates of Los Angeles; and Michael Kieran and Melissa Kieran MacDonald of Montreal.

The Port of Los Angeles’ and Port of Long Beach’s (Ports or POLA/POLB) 2017 Clean Air Action Plan Update (2017 CAAP Update) committed to a strategy to update the Clean Truck Programs at both ports to build upon the existing, successful programs. The objective of the Ports’ updated Clean Truck Programs, as stated in the 2017 CAAP Update, is to transition the current drayage truck fleet to near-zero technologies in the near-term and ultimately zero-emissions technologies by 2035. A key component of the updated Clean Truck Programs is the implementation of a Clean Truck Fund (CTF) Rate. As proposed in the 2017 CAAP Update, beginning in 2020, a rate is to be charged to the beneficial cargo owners for loaded heavy duty container trucks to enter or exit the ports’ terminals, with rebates for trucks that have CARB-certified low NOx engines or better. The added cost of this CTF Rate is expected to help incentivize the transition of drayage trucks operating at the Ports to cleaner equipment.

DTCI was engaged by the Ports to assesses how a range of potential rates, from $5/TEU to $70/TEU, could: (i) affect the Ports’ economic competitiveness, including the potential for cargo diversion, (ii) impact the drayage industry, and (iii) generate revenue from collection of the rate.

More details are available here