San Pedro Bay Ports delay container fee decision despite Maersk warning

The San Pedro Bay Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have delayed consideration of the “Container Dwell Fee” until June 3 in spite of a recent Maersk advisory warning that the fee was likely to be implemented soon.

The surcharge aimed to help alleviate some of the pressure facing the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach amid the ongoing congestion crisis. Since the policy announcement on 25 October, the two ports have seen a combined decline of 48 per cent in ageing cargo on the docks.

Whilst levels of congestion have begun to dip, however, critics have noted that the falling number of long-dwelling containers has begun to stagnate. In a recent announcement Maersk said that the likelihood of the Biden Administration implementing the dwell fee has risen substantially.

Levels of containers dwelling at the Port of Los Angeles from October 2021 – May 2022 © Port of Los Angeles
The implementation has been postponed by both the San Pedro Bay Ports since the start of the programme.

The Long Beach and Los Angeles Boards of Harbor Commissioners have both extended the fee programme through 28 July.

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 policy was developed in coordination with the Biden-Harris Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), and multiple supply chain stakeholders.

The emergency task force will now be led by Retired General Stephen Lyons.

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