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Los Angeles port to charge carriers on empty containers at $100/day

The Port of Los Angeles will start charging ocean carriers that allow empty containers to linger on the port’s terminals for nine days or more at the rate of $100/day.

January 3, 2022: The Port of Los Angeles will start charging ocean carriers that allow empty containers to linger on the port’s terminals for nine days or more at the rate of $100/day.

The fee, subject to approval by the Los Angeles Harbor Commission, would take effect on January 30, 2022.

Ocean carriers will be charged $100/day/container dwelling for nine days, increasing in $100 increments per container per day until the container leaves the terminal.

If approved by the Harbor Commission, implementation of the fee will be at the discretion of the Executive Director, the official statement added.

“While we have seen significant success reducing import containers on our docks the past two months, too many empty containers are currently sitting on marine terminals,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Just like the import dwell fee, the objective with this empty container program is not to collect fees but to free up valuable space on our docks, clearing the way for more ships and improving fluidity.”

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach had announced a similar programme on October 25 for import containers, which has been put on hold till today (January 3, 2022). The twin ports have seen a combined decline of 41 percent in ageing cargo on the docks.

Meanwhile, 101 container ships were anchored across LA/LB ports as on January 2, 2022, according to data from Captain J. Kipling (Kip) Louttit, Executive Director, Marine Exchange of Southern California & Vessel Traffic Service Los Angeles and Long Beach San Pedro, CA.

The 101 total container ships backed up includes 17 container ships at anchor or loitering inside 40 miles from the ports of LA and LB plus 84 slow speed steaming or loitering outside the Safety and Air Quality Area.

“As many as 35 vessels are scheduled to arrive over the next three days, which is two fewer than the normal level of 37 based on 2018/9 levels pre-COVID levels,” Captain Kip added.

The 17 container ships at anchor or loitering and awaiting orders for a berth inside 40 miles include two mega-container ships over 10K TEUs.

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