San Pedro Bay Ports Delaying Container Dwell Fee

congestion fee delay
congestion fee delay
The Los Angeles and Long Beach seaports announced Monday that they’ll postpone plans to implement their planned container dwell fee. Photo courtesy Port of Long Beach.

Encouraged by the supply chain’s recent efforts to more quickly move import containers off terminals, officials at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach announced Monday that they’re postponing implementation of their planned “Container Dwell Fee” until Nov. 22.

“Clearly, everyone is working together to speed the movement of cargo and reduce the backlog of ships off the coast as quickly as possible,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said. “Postponing consideration of the fee provides more time, while keeping the focus on the results we need.”

The fee, which was first announced Oct. 25 as a way of tackling ongoing congestion at the ports, seeks to charge ocean carriers whose import containers dwell at terminals starting on Nov. 15.

The 90-day policy calls for billing ocean carriers $100 for every container that stays beyond the allotted time — nine or more days for imports that leave by truck and six or more days for imports that depart by rail. In both cases, each container could be charged a $100 daily fee for each container in the penalty time period.

Since the announcement, however, the seaports say they’ve seen a combined 26% decline in dwell cargo.

“There’s been significant improvement in clearing import containers from our docks in recent weeks,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka remarked. “We will continue to closely monitor the data as we approach Nov. 22.”

By Karen Robes Meeks