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The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach announced this week they are delaying consideration of a container dwell fee for ocean carriers until Nov. 22.
Since the fee was announced on Oct. 25, the twin ports have seen a decline of 26% combined in aging cargo on the docks. This "encouraging momentum" supports a delay in implementation of the fee, port officials said in a press release.
Under the temporary fee approved Oct. 29 by the ports' harbor commissions, the fee would be used as a tool to decrease port congestion. It would cost ocean carriers $100 per each container that falls into one of two categories: either containers scheduled to move by truck that dwell nine days or more, or containers scheduled to move by rail that dwell six days or more. The fee would increase by $100 for every additional day the container dwells until it leaves the terminal.
Before the pandemic-induced import surge that began in mid-2020, containers for local delivery dwelled in terminals for an average of less than four days, while those destined for rail dwelled an average of less than two days. Collected fees would be reinvested into the twin ports’ programs to enhance efficiency and address congestion.
"There’s been significant improvement in clearing import containers from our docks in recent weeks," said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. "We will continue to closely monitor the data as we approach Nov. 22."
"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.