Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach once again delay freight charges – Daily News
The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on Friday, June 24, again delayed implementing a fee on shipping carriers whose import containers persist at marine terminals – despite efforts to reduce a ongoing backlog which worsened last week.
Fees will take effect no earlier than Friday, July 1.
The Container Dwell Fee has been essentially weekly since its inception in late October, with port officials citing the reason.
The fee was originally due to come into effect on November 1, but ports quickly delayed it until November 15 to give shipping carriers time to comply. But when that new deadline arrived, the ports pushed it back to November 22 – and have been postponing the fee every week since then.
But while ports, after announcing the scheme, saw the percentage of aging cargo steadily decline in early 2022, that has changed in recent months.
With imports remaining at or near record highs every month this year, ports have seen their efforts to reduce the backlog stagnate – and worsen dramatically in some weeks.
Ports, for example, on Friday reported a combined 31% drop in aging cargo at docks since the levy was announced. But that’s seven percentage points lower than last week, when ports reported a 38% decline.
It’s also 19 percentage points lower than the last week of May.
Over the next week, port officials will monitor and reassess the possible implementation of the fee.
The ability to collect the fee expires on July 28, unless the Long Beach and Los Angeles Harbor Commissions extend it a third time.
The fee is one of many efforts to expedite cargo processing at the San Pedro port complex to eliminate a backlog of ships trying to deliver cargo.
Port of Los Angeles officials said when the policy was announced that about 40% of import containers sit idle in terminals for at least nine days.
The fee, if applied, would start at $100 per container, increasing by $100 per container each day. Containers destined to be transported by truck and rail would face fines if they remained in port for nine days or more.
Fees collected under the policy would be reinvested in programs to improve efficiency, increase freight speeds and address the effects of congestion.
SCNG staff contributed to this report.