San Pedro Bay Ports Delay Container Dwell Fee to Dec. 13

Dock work at the Port of Long Beach’s Total Terminals International terminal at Pier T, site of a pilot program for 24/7 operations at the port. Photo courtesy of POLB.

A fee that penalizes ocean carriers for lingering cargo containers at San Pedro Bay terminals has been once again put on hold. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach announced Monday that they would delay consideration of their “Container Dwell Fee” to Dec. 13.

The ports’ executive directors decided to review the fee after an additional week of data monitoring. Since announcing the fee Oct. 25, dwell times for cargo have dropped 37% at both ports.

Developed with the Biden-Harris Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, the U.S. Department of Transportation and supply chain stakeholders, the fee calls for ocean carriers to be fined $100 for every container that stays nine or more days before it leaves on a truck and dwells six or more days before it leaves by rail. The fee increases in $100 increments per container per day until the container leaves, according to the ports.

Pre-pandemic, imports usually stayed at a San Pedro Bay terminal under four days if it left by truck or under two days if it departed by train.

The money from this fee would pay for programs aimed at improving cargo efficiency and addressing congestion issues, according to the ports.

By Karen Robes Meeks