Los Angeles, Long Beach Ports’ Container Dwell Fee Delayed to Sept. 23

A container ship in the Port of LA harbor. Photo: Mark Nero.

Continued progress in moving older cargo from their docks has prompted leaders at the Los Angeles and Long Beach seaports to again delay the start date of their Container Dwell Fee, this time to Sept. 23.

The ports said they’ve seen a combined 46% decrease at terminals since announcing the fee Oct. 25. They plan to review the month’s data to see if that progress continues.

The fee was developed with the Biden-Harris Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, U.S. Department of Transportation and the supply chain to combat the rising number of lingering containers in San Pedro Bay.

The fee, which is in place at least until Oct. 26, calls for billing ocean carriers $100 for every import that stays at terminals nine or more days. The fee rises in $100 increments per import per day until the container is gone.

Meanwhile, the number of older containers at Los Angeles and Long Beach remains high. According to Pacific Merchant Shipping Association’s most recent data, cargo leaving by rail “reached a new high” in July, with an average dwell time of 16.4 days.

That’s up 3.1 days from June’s 13.3 days and up 5.1 days from May (11.3 days). The average dwell time for cargo departing by truck was 5.62 days in July, up from the 5.5-day average in June.

By Karen Robes Meeks