San Pedro Bay ports to charge carriers for long container dwell times

San Pedro Bay ports to charge carriers for long container dwell times
The Port of Los Angeles

The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will begin assessing a surcharge to ocean carriers for import containers that dwell on marine terminals, as they try to improve cargo movement amidst severe congestion.

Under the new policy, the ports will charge carriers for every container dwelling nine days or more if it is due to move by truck.

For containers moving by rail, shipping lines will be charged if the box has dwelled for three days or more.

Beginning at the start of November, the charges for both truck and rail categories will be US$100 per container, increasing in US$100 increments per container per day.

Gene Seroka, executive director at the Port of Los Angeles, said: “We must expedite the movement of cargo through the ports to work down the number of ships at anchor. Approximately 40% of the containers on our terminals today fall into the two categories.

“If we can clear this idling cargo, we’ll have much more space on our terminals to accept empties, handle exports, and improve fluidity for the wide range of cargo owners who utilise our ports.”

Mario Cordero, executive director at the Port of Long Beach, stated: “With the escalating backlog of ships off the coast, we must take immediate action to prompt the rapid removal of containers from our marine terminals.

“The terminals are running out of space, and this will make room for the containers sitting on those ships at anchor.”

Before the pandemic-induced import surge began in mid-2020, on average, containers for local delivery sat on container terminals under four days, while containers destined for trains dwelled less than two days.

Those numbers have increased significantly, making it difficult to clear cargo off the terminals and bring in ships at anchor.

Fees collected from dwelling cargo will be re-invested by the two ports for programmes designed to enhance efficiency, accelerate cargo velocity, and address congestion impacts throughout the San Pedro Bay.

The policy was developed in coordination with the Biden-Harris Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, US Department of Transportation and multiple supply chain stakeholders.