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Port of Long Beach to reconsider fee for slow-moving shipping containers

Supply-chain issues continue to bedevil business, stoking inflation as businesses attempt to cope with whether the goods they need will show up on time, or late, or never.

One effort to unkink supply chains locally was a fee levied against ocean carriers using our two local ports, Long Beach and Los Angeles, if containers sat around for nine days or more without shipping out. The idea was to spur the carriers to figure out how to get freight beyond the ports.

That fee has never actually been applied. Here is the Port of Long Beach with an update:

The San Pedro Bay ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will postpone consideration of the “Container Dwell Fee” for four weeks, until Aug. 26.

Since the program was announced on Oct. 25, the two ports have seen a combined decline of 26% in aging cargo on the docks.

The executive directors of both ports will reassess fee implementation after monitoring data over the next month. Fee implementation has been postponed by both ports since the start of the program. The Long Beach and Los Angeles Boards of Harbor Commissioners have both extended the fee program through Oct. 26.

Under the temporary policy, ocean carriers can be charged for each import container dwelling nine days or more at the terminal. Currently, no date has been set to start the count with respect to container dwell time.

The ports plan to charge ocean carriers $100 per container, increasing in $100 increments per container per day until the container leaves the terminal.

Any fees collected from dwelling cargo will be reinvested 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 and multiple supply chain stakeholders.