Ocean Carriers to be Assessed for Containers that Dwell on Terminals

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — Oct. 29, 2021 — The Los Angeles Harbor Commission voted 4‑0 on Friday to implement a “Container Excess Dwell Fee” directed at ocean carriers in an effort to improve cargo movement on container terminals amid record volume. The program starts on Nov. 1, with penalties to be assessed no earlier than Nov. 15.
Under the 90-day policy, the Port of Los Angeles will charge ocean carriers for each import container that falls into one of two categories:  In the case of containers scheduled to move by truck, ocean carriers will be charged for every container dwelling nine days or more.  For containers moving by rail, ocean carriers will be charged if a container has dwelled for six days or more.
The Port will charge ocean carriers in these two categories $100 per container, increasing in $100 increments per container per day until the container leaves the terminal.
“Our objective with this program is not to generate revenue,” said Los Angeles Harbor Commission President Jaime Lee. “Instead, we need our supply chain partners to make operational changes that will reduce dwell times, clear our terminals and make room for the ships waiting to enter our port.”
“Starting Monday, we will be taking daily data snapshots of how long import containers sit on our container terminals,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “If progress is being made clearing our docks, I have the discretion to delay the start of fees beyond Nov. 15. Our goal is to see significant improvement on our docks so that we don’t need to administer any fees.”  
Approximately 40% of the import containers on terminals are idling on terminals at least nine days. Before the pandemic-induced import surge began in mid-2020, on average, containers for local delivery remained on container terminals under four days, while containers destined for trains dwelled less than two days.
Any fees collected from dwelling cargo will be re-invested for programs designed to enhance efficiency, accelerate cargo velocity, and address congestion impacts.
The policy was developed in coordination with the Biden-Harris Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, U.S. Department of Transportation, Port of Long Beach and multiple supply chain stakeholders.
The Long Beach Harbor Commission will consider a similar program today.
North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, the Port of Los Angeles facilitated $259 billion in trade during 2020. San Pedro Bay port complex operations and commerce facilitate one in nine jobs across the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura. The Port of Los Angeles has remained open with all terminals operational throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  

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