L.A.-Long Beach Container Dwell Fee Start Date Again Moved

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

Leaders at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on Friday, July 8 postponed implementing their “Container Dwell Fee” policy on ocean carriers by one week to July 15.

The policy, which is expected to remain in effect until at least July 28, was created in conjunction with the Biden-Harris Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, U.S. Department of Transportation and those in the supply chain industry to curb the number of aging cargo containers stacking up at terminals.

In May, the average dwell time for a container in both ports was four days, longer than the 3.7 day-average from April, according to most recent data from the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association.

The average dwell time for imports lingering at terminals past five days rose in May, up 15.5% from 13.1% in April. For cargo departing by rail, the dwell time was slightly better, with average time down from 12.4 days in April to 10.5 days in May, which is considered high for May, according to the PMSA.

The fee mandates charging ocean carriers $100 for every import that stays at terminals past nine days, raising in increments of $100 per import per day until the container moves out.

So far, officials from both ports have been delaying implementation of the fee weekly based on whether dwell times have improved. Most recently, they’ve seen a combined 10% drop in older cargo at terminals since announcing the fee Oct. 25.

By Karen Robes Meeks