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Daily fee for import cargo, the new measure to ease California congestion

The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will begin assessing a surcharge to ocean carriers for import containers that dwell on marine terminals in an effort to improve cargo movement amid congestion.

Under the new policy, the ports will charge ocean carriers for each container that falls into one of the following 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 the container has dwelled for three days or more.

Beginning from 1 November, the San Pedro Bay ports will charge ocean carriers with cargo US$100 per container, increasing in US$100 increments per container per day.

“We must expedite the movement of cargo through the ports to work down the number of ships at anchor,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director, Gene Seroka.

“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 utilize our ports,” he explained.

Port of Long Beach Executive Director, Mario Cordero noted that this decision will make room for the containers sitting on those ships at anchor, while the terminals are running out of space.

“I support the actions taken by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach today to charge ocean carriers for lingering containers on marine terminals. These actions aim to expedite the movement of goods and reduce congestion in our ports,” said John D. Porcari, Port Envoy to the Biden-Harris Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force.

“The federal government will continue to bring together private companies and stakeholders from across the supply chain and serve as an honest broker helping to surface solutions like this to address supply chain disruptions,” he added.

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.

According to a statement, fees collected from dwelling cargo will be re-invested by the two ports for programs 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, U.S. Department of Transportation and multiple supply chain stakeholders.

Source: Container News


Long Beach lifts container stacking limits due to California congestion crisis

The City of Long Beach has temporarily withdrawn limitations on the number and/or height of shipping container storage allowed at the Port of Long Beach (POLB) to ease the container storage crisis.

“It has recently come to the City’s attention the Municipal Code contains zoning provisions that limit the number and/or height of shipping container storage, that if relaxed for a short time could provide some assistance during this national crisis,” said the City of Long Beach in a statement.

Depending on the property zoning, these limits have been either two stacked containers or eight feet in height. These provisions, which have been in effect for many years, were established to address the visual impact to surrounding areas of sites with excessive storage.

Given this current national emergency and the Governor’s Executive Order to take necessary steps to alleviate the impacts on the system, the City Manager, Tom Modica, will temporarily waive enforcement of current shipping container stacking and height limits for a period of 90 days from 22 October.

During this period, affected operations will be allowed to stack up to four shipping containers without being cited for a Code violation.

“This will only apply to properties that are currently zoned to allow shipping container stacking,” noted the City. “Properties that wish to stack up to five containers high should contact Fire Prevention to ensure the site can safely accommodate the height prior to stacking above four containers high.”

The City added it will work during the next 90-day period to assess the situation and the effectiveness of this solution and any impacts on the surrounding areas.

Source: Container News