The Los Angeles Harbor Commission has voted 5-0 to extend the implementation of the container dwell fee directed at ocean carriers in an effort to improve cargo movement on container terminals.
The program which was originally approved on 29 October 2021, was set to expire after 90 days. Hence, on 13 January the Harbor Commission extended the dwell fee program until 29 April.
The Commission also amended the fee so that an import container moving by truck or rail can be charged the fee after nine days, while previously, containers bound for rail were subject to a fee after six days.
Implementation of the fee continues to be at the discretion of the port's executive director Gene Seroka, who has not used the Harbor Commission’s authority to trigger the fee so far.
Since the announcement of the fee in October, import cargo lingering nine days or more have declined by 60% at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA), according to Seroka.
"We’re very pleased with the progress, which is why the fee has not been enacted," explained POLA's executive director who added that data will continue to be monitored daily.
Under the updated policy, the US West Coast port has the authority to charge ocean carriers for each loaded import container dwelling nine days or more, US$100 per container, increasing in US$100 increments per container per day until the container leaves the terminal.
Additionally, the Harbor Commission presented information about a similar plan for empty containers, which was announced last month. The presentation, however, was informational only with no vote taken about its implementation.
Seroka outlined the plan to Harbor commissioners, adding that the port has been in dialogue with a range of public and private stakeholders about the proposal. Staff will consider all input before returning to the Harbor Commission for potential action.