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Long Beach/LA port fees: What you need to know

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Last week, we published a blog on Overcoming Congestion at US ports. The surge of imports this spring and the disruptions caused by the pandemic and related labor shortage have had devastating ripple effects, including a capacity decrease for last-mile deliveries, a warehouse space crunch, increased dwell time of containers & chassis, huge numbers of vessels anchoring off the coast, and massive terminal congestion.

Right now, shipper interest is focused around the new carrier fees on containers, carrier applications and more provided by ocean liners themselves.

 

Dimerco Guidance

The following Q&A will help you understand the details around these new carrier fees on containers.

  • How will the fee be assessed?

The fee will be assessed on all containers dwelling for 9 days or more on truck moves or for 6 days or more for rail bound containers. The 9th day and 6th day respectively will be the first charged day.

 

  • What is the fee structure?

The fee will be $100 for day 1, $200 for day 2, $300 for day 3 and so on.

 

  • Will it be applied on calendar or working days?

The fee will be applied based on calendar days, inclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.

 

  • When will the fee come into effect?

The program will go into effect on November 1, but the fee will not be assessed until the effective date of November 15. This 2-week grace period has been given to allow shippers appropriate time to clear the docks.

 

  • Does it affect containers already on terminal (retroactive charges) or just containers discharging Nov 1 or later?

To the best of our knowledge, the fee will be applied retroactively for all containers on terminal effective Nov 15th.

 

  • Will there be a maximum cap on the fee, or will the charge continue for the duration the container is on terminal/rail?

There is no maximum cap on the fee.

 

  • Will containers held for Customs Exam be exempt?

No, we expect all containers to be subject to the fee, regardless of release status.

 

  • Who will bill the new fee and how will it be collected?

We expect the Port Authorities to bill the Carrier and for the charge to either be billed directly to customers or for the terminal operator to collect the same on the carrier’s behalf prior to the release of cargo.

 

  • How will the rail delays be handled?

To the best of our knowledge, the fee will still be applied according to the announcement from the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach.

 

  • Will the charge be applied to containers where the rail providers are metering the flow of freight out due to congestion at inland rail points?

To the best of our knowledge, the fee will still be applied according to the announcement from the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach.

 

  • Will Carriers have to file this new surcharge in our tariff and give 30-day notice per FMC regulations?

Carriers will publish the new surcharge in their tariffs. Although we will continue to work with customers to evacuate their long-dwell cargo, customers should be prepared for this surcharge to be applied on the same timeline as the Ports have announced.

 

As reported by Sea Intelligence, most trade lanes are impacted by congestions. Carrier schedule reliability is still extremely low and the average delay for late vessel arrival is still over 7 days. Some seaports seem to be less congested than others. At the time we publish this communication, East Coast ports are in a better position than all West coast ones. Important to note is that Husky Terminal in Tacoma is the first container terminal in the Northwest Seaport Alliance to charge fees for excessive-dwell containers following a similar move in Los Angeles and Long Beach. Starting November 1st,  a long stay rehandling fee of USD315 per unit will be charged to all local import containers if they stayed at terminal for more than 15 calendar days.

 

Call your Dimerco sales rep to evaluate alternative solutions, divert your freight to a different port or change the mode of transportation. Be ready to share your planning, forecasts and initiatives for the new year.