Shipping lines adopt Alameda Corridor charge

Shipping lines moving United States container cargo to Asia through Southern California ports say they will begin passing onto customers the added rail charges associated with the Alameda Corridor rail expressway.

As of April 15, 2002, lines will individually pass through charges of $15 per loaded 20-foot container equivalent (TEU) and $30 per loaded 40-ft container equivalent (FEU). Proportionate charges are in place for other equipment sizes based on a formula of 75 cents per linear container foot for a loaded waterborne container. The charge will apply to all containers moving by rail from outside the Southern California area to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The $2.4-billion Alameda Corridor project is a new express rail link between Los Angeles and Long Beach harbors and transcontinental rail yards some 20 miles inland, east of downtown Los Angeles. It is designed to expedite movement of longhaul intermodal container traffic in and out of the harbors, thus reducing truck highway and gate congestion, waits at grade crossings, and vehicle pollution.

Nearly half of the project has been financed through revenue bonds being repaid through railroad user fees. The railroads in turn have passed those charges onto ocean carriers. Rail charges, as with the carrier pass-through, apply whether or not a container moves through the Alameda Corridor.

Ocean carrier members of the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement say they cannot afford each to absorb several million dollars in annual user fees for a facility primarily intended to benefit freight shippers and communities in the Los Angeles-Long Beach harbor area.

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