Port of Los Angeles Considering Dwell Fee for Empties

Port of Los Angeles
Port of Los Angeles
Yard tractors lined up on a container terminal. File photo courtesy Port of Los Angeles.

Ocean carriers could be fined for empty containers that dwell for nine or more days at marine terminals at the Port of Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Harbor Commission is expected to consider the fee at its Jan. 13 board meeting. If approved, the fee would go into effect Jan. 30, and would charge ocean carriers $100 for every empty that lingers at terminals beyond nine days, rising in daily increments of $100 per empty until it’s removed.

The fee is similar in nature to an import container dwell fee that Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach jointly approved last year but have yet to implement due to drastic reductions in import containers lingering at terminals. If implemented, that fee would cost ocean carriers $100 for every import that stays nine or more days before leaving by truck and six or more days before leaving by rail.

“While we have seen significant success reducing import containers on our docks the past two months, too many empty containers are currently sitting on marine terminals,” Port Executive Director Gene Seroka said. “Just like the import dwell fee, the objective with this empty container program is not to collect fees but to free up valuable space on our docks, clearing the way for more ships and improving fluidity.”

Revenue from the fee would go toward programs that improve cargo efficiency, according to the Port of LA.

By Karen Robes Meeks