San Pedro Bay Ports’ Container Dwell Fee Start Date Again Delayed

port containers
port containers
Stacked containers at the San Pedro Bay port complex. Photo: Chris Valle Photography.

A fee that would charge ocean carriers for lingering cargo containers at the Los Angeles and Long Beach seaports has again been postponed an additional week, this time to April 1.

Leaders from both ports made the announcement following steady decline of older cargo leaving their docks. Since announcing the fee Oct. 25, the ports have watched lingering containers drop 57%. They plan to continue to monitor the progress week by week.

The fee calls for ocean carriers to be billed $100 per container, with $100 daily increments per container until the container departs the terminal.

Meanwhile, the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association recently reported improved dwell time with truck-departing cargo in February, but not for those leaving by rail.

“This is important information that tells us how efficiently cargo is moving through our ports. Containers not picked up in a timely manner accumulate and contribute to congestion at the terminals, affecting the speed our dockworkers can unload incoming vessels,” said Jessica Alvarenga, manager of government affairs at PMSA.

Last month, aging containers leaving by truck stayed an average of 5.8 days, down from 6.9 days the previous month.

For cargo departing by rail, aging containers stayed an average of 5.2 days, up from 3.5 days the prior month. This is the second straight month of rising dwell time for rail-departing cargo.

“Marine terminal operators continue moving record cargo volumes through San Pedro terminals despite various challenges affecting the supply chain,” Alvarenga said.

By Karen Robes Meeks