traffic mitigation fee tmf

Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) – Simple Explanation and Examples

In the fast-paced world of logistics and customs clearance, numerous charges and fees can significantly impact operational efficiency and costs. Among these is the Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF), an essential term for anyone engaged in importing or exporting goods. This article aims to provide a clear understanding of TMF, its implications, and relevant examples to make the concept easier to grasp.

What is a Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF)?

The Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF), also known as the PierPass fee, is a charge imposed on cargo containers moving through specific ports, particularly in regions with high congestion, like the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The primary purpose of TMF is to manage and mitigate traffic congestion by incentivizing the movement of cargo during off-peak hours. This fee helps to maintain the efficiency and smooth operation of port facilities while addressing environmental concerns by reducing peak-hour traffic emissions.

Examples of Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) in Action

Example 1: Port of Los Angeles

At the Port of Los Angeles, a significant hub for international trade, the TMF is levied on all container cargoes moving during peak hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm). The fee can vary based on container size and type but is usually charged per Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) or Forty-foot Equivalent Unit (FEU). For instance, if the TMF is set at $31.52 per TEU, a 40-foot container (FEU) would incur a double charge, totaling $63.04.

Example 2: Port of Long Beach

The Port of Long Beach follows a similar structure, imposing TMF to encourage nighttime or weekend moves. This not only alleviates daytime traffic but also leads to a more efficient cargo handling process. For example, an import company opting to transport goods during peak hours would incur TMF costs, influencing their decision-making regarding logistics planning and potentially motivating them to schedule shipments at non-peak times.

Key Considerations and Notes

Importance of TMF in Logistics Planning

Understanding and planning for TMF is crucial for businesses involved in import/export operations. It impacts:

  • Cost Management: By considering TMF, companies can better forecast their shipping expenses and seek strategies to minimize costs. Opting for off-peak hours can reduce or eliminate TMF charges, leading to substantial savings.
  • Operational Efficiency: Scheduling shipments during less congested times can enhance the speed and reliability of cargo movements, reducing delays and enabling timely deliveries.
  • Environmental Impact: By promoting off-peak cargo movements, TMF plays a role in decreasing traffic congestion and associated emissions, contributing to a cleaner environment and supporting sustainability goals.

TMF Exemptions and Reductions

Certain conditions and types of cargo might be exempt from TMF or eligible for reduced rates. For example:

  • Empty Containers: Moving empty containers usually incurs a lower TMF or is entirely exempt.
  • Non-Standard Cargo: Specialized shipments, such as oversized loads or hazardous materials, may have different fee arrangements.
  • Volume Discounts: Some ports offer volume discounts or cap the TMF after a certain level of cargo volume, benefiting large-scale importers/exporters.

Calculating TMF

To accurately calculate TMF, businesses need to consider:

  • Container Type and Size: Determine whether the shipment consists of TEUs or FEUs.
  • Peak vs. Off-Peak Hours: Assess whether the movement occurs during designated peak periods.
  • Port Policies: Verify the specific TMF rates and regulations of the port in question.


The Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) plays a vital role in the logistics and customs clearance landscape by addressing port congestion and promoting efficient cargo movement. Understanding the implications and strategic planning around TMF can lead to significant cost savings and operational benefits for businesses engaged in international trade.

For expert guidance and assistance with your customs-related needs, including navigating TMF and other fees, contact us today. Our team of professionals is here to help streamline your import/export processes and ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements.

Traffic Mitigation Fee (tmf) – FAQ

What is the Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF)?

The Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) is a charge imposed on cargo containers moving through specific ports, particularly during peak hours. It aims to manage and reduce traffic congestion by encouraging the transportation of goods during off-peak times. This fee helps ensure smoother port operations and reduces environmental impacts from traffic and emissions.

How can I avoid or reduce the Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF)?

You can avoid or reduce the TMF by scheduling the movement of your cargo during off-peak hours, typically nights and weekends. Additionally, some ports offer exemptions or reduced rates for empty containers, non-standard cargo, or high-volume shipments. It’s important to check the specific policies of the port you are dealing with for any available discounts or exemptions.

How does the Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) impact my shipping costs?

The TMF can significantly affect your overall shipping expenses, particularly if your cargo is moved during peak hours. Understanding and planning for this fee can help you manage costs more effectively. Opting to transport goods during off-peak times can lead to substantial savings, enhance operational efficiency, and possibly provide environmental benefits by reducing congestion and emissions.

eezyimport is an online platform and is not a licensed customs broker. However, we work closely with a third-party licensed customs broker who can assist with any entry-related issues.

eezyimport is an online platform and is not a licensed customs broker. However, we work closely with a third-party licensed customs broker who can assist with any entry-related issues.

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