When the OffPeak program was first implemented, the TMF was only applied to trucks picking up and dropping off cargo during the day shift to incentivize more of them to operate during evening hours instead. As recently as 2018, the TMF was $72.09 per TEU and $144.18 for forty-foot containers. The incentive brought the day and night shifts to a roughly 50-50 parity in terms of traffic levels.
However, as trucks tried to avoid the day-time fee and be first in line for the night shift, the port saw congestion increasing as more trucks started waiting outside the terminals as early as 3 p.m. for the start of the 6 p.m. shift. To solve this problem, the WCMTOA switched the TMF from the incentive-based model to a lower flat fee on all day and night shifts in November 2018.
As a result, rates today are significantly lower than they were in previous years. According to a statement from PierPass President John Cushing in a program update, the switch reduced the 3 p.m. lineup almost immediately.