San Pedro Bay Measure Reduced Backlog Without Triggering Fee

Dec. 16, 2022 — The San Pedro Bay ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will phase out the option to collect a “Container Dwell Fee” on Jan. 24, 2023.
Since the program was announced on Oct. 25, 2021, the two ports have seen a combined decline of 92% in aging cargo on the docks. While the executive directors of both ports have had the authority from their respective harbor commissions to implement the fee, it was never activated because cargo owners were able to clear their long-dwelling cargo off terminals.
“I said when we launched this program that I hoped we would never collect a dime because that would mean that containers were moving off our docks. And that’s exactly what occurred,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “I’m grateful to the cargo owners and all our waterfront workers for all their successful efforts to improve the efficiency of our operations.”
“This fee was conceived as an incentive to ease congestion, keeping imported goods flowing to stores across America,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “Measured by this standard, we can all appreciate the policy’s success, and best of all, the fee was never implemented. We thank cargo owners and terminal operators for working with us to make operations more efficient, and of course dockworkers for their dedicated labor.”
Under the temporary policy, ocean carriers could be charged for each import container dwelling nine days or more at the terminal. Fee implementation has been postponed by both ports since the start of the program. The Long Beach and Los Angeles Boards of Harbor Commissioners both extended the fee program through Jan. 24, 2023. Neither port plans to extend the program beyond that date.
The policy was developed in coordination with the Biden-Harris Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, U.S. Department of Transportation and multiple supply chain stakeholders.