Stacked containers and cranes are shown at the Port of Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 22, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Blake

San Pedro Bay Ports Again Postpone Container Dwell Fees

Mike Schuler
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November 22, 2021

The Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach will once again postpone the new “Container Dwell Fee” as over 45,000 containers continue to linger on docks past the allowable time period.

The San Pedro Bay ports cite continued progress moving containers off marine terminals. Since the fee was announced on October 25, the twin ports have seen a decline of 33% combined in aging cargo on the docks.

The executive directors of both ports report satisfaction with the progress thus far and will reassess fee implementation after another week of monitoring data. The new fee will not will not be considered before November 29.

Under the temporary policy approved by the Harbor Commissions of both ports, ocean carriers can be charged a daily fee for each import container lingering for extended periods. In the case of “local” containers scheduled to move by truck, ocean carriers could be charged for every container dwelling nine days or more. For containers moving by rail, ocean carriers could be charged if a container has dwelled for six days or more.

The fee was initially expected to be assessed on November 15, but was postponed until today (Nov. 22).

Containers falling within those two categories $100 per container, increasing in $100 increments per container per day until the container leaves the terminal.

Numbers released Monday by the Port of Los Angeles show 26,275 truck-bound containers lingering past the 8 day allowance, while Port of Long Beach has over 18,451 local containers plus 306 rail-bound containers lingering past their respective allowances.

“We’re encouraged by the progress our supply chain partners have made in helping our terminals shed long-dwelling import containers. Clearly, everyone is working together to speed the movement of cargo and reduce the backlog of ships off the coast as quickly as possible,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “Postponing consideration of the fee provides more time, while keeping the focus on the results we need.”

“There’s been significant improvement in clearing import containers from our docks in recent weeks,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “I’m grateful to the many nodes of the supply chain, from shipping lines, marine terminals, trucks and cargo owners, for their increased collaborative efforts. We will continue to closely monitor the data as we approach November 22.”

Any fees collected from dwelling cargo will be reinvested for programs designed to enhance efficiency, accelerate cargo velocity and address congestion impacts.

The policy was developed in coordination with the Biden-Harris Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, U.S. Department of Transportation, Port of Los Angeles and multiple supply chain stakeholders.

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