Container Dwell Fee Launch Again Delayed at LA, Long Beach Ports

Stacked containers
Stacked containers
Stacked containers at a San Pedro Bay port complex container terminal. Photo: Chris Valle Photography.

Officials at the Los Angeles and Long Beach seaports have decided to again move the start date of their Container Dwell Fee, this time to July 29.

The officials again agreed to delay a fee that would charge ocean carriers for imports staying at terminals past their allotted time after seeing a combined 26% drop in lingering cargo since Oct. 25. Officials said that they plan to continue monitoring dwell times over the week.

The temporary fee, which lasts until Oct. 26, was developed with the Biden-Harris Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, U.S. Department of Transportation and supply chain stakeholders to help reduce the number of cargo containers clogging up the nation’s two busiest seaports.

The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association’s most recent data shows that rail-bound cargo in June was among the highest recorded by PMSA, with the average time containers staying at terminals before leaving on rail was 13.3 days, two days longer than the 11.3 day average recorded in May and the highest average dwell time observed by PMSA since January 2021.

Imports leaving by truck in June were also up from the previous month. Imports stayed at terminals an average of 5.5 days in June, a slight uptick from the May average of 5.3 days.

The fee calls for ocean carriers to pay $100 for every import that stays on the docks for nine or more days, rising in $100 increments per import each day until it departs the ports.

By Karen Robes Meeks