US West Coast ports cancel container dwell fee
15 months after announcing a dwell fee for every container left on their terminals for more than nine days, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have not levied the charge and have now announced that it will disappear entirely from the 24th January 2023.
With record queues of over 100 vessels waiting over three weeks to berth at West Coast ports in late 2021, shipping lines began diverting vessels and shippers diverting cargo to to East Coast and Gulf ports.
On the 25th October 2021, in a bid to ease pressure on the terminals and reduce congestion, Los Angeles and Long Beach ports announced that they were planning a charge of $100 per container, which would increase in $100 increments per container per day, for every container left on their terminals for more than nine days.
The record queues of vessels have now disappeared entirely and long dwell containers have fallen by 92% over the last 15 months, leading the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to announce that they are going to scrap the container dwell fee programme that has never been implemented.
When they launched the dwell fee, the ports said that they we would prefer not to collect a dime, because that would mean that containers were moving off their docks, and it seem that that is exactly what has occurred.
Import volumes through US West Coast ports were down 3.6% on 2021, in the first 10 months of 2022, with shippers concerned over ILWU negotiations and as volumes have risen at East Coast and Gulf ports, some of them, including New York and Houston, are contemplating dwell fees, as they handle record volumes and experience congestion.
West Coast ports are eager to rebalance cargo flows and encourage traffic to return to Los Angeles/Long Beach, with port management travelling across the US in recent weeks to assure shippers that they are ready for more business.
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