LOS ANGELES—A fine on lingering containers at the Los Angeles ports, which never went into effect since its inception, was delayed for the ninth time on Jan. 14, one day after the Harbor Commission voted 5–0 to extend the period of imposing the fine through April 29.
Now the ports will potentially start collecting the fine next Friday, Jan. 21, if necessary, according to the announcement.
Since October 2021, harbor commissioners intended to fine cargo companies—known as the Container Dwell Fee—to speed up the removal of containers idling at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, in hopes of eliminating a backlog of ships trying to offload merchandise.
But the ports kept delaying the collection of fines after noting a significant decline in the lingering cargo—about 55 percent for both ports combined—since the fee was announced.
“Since the announcement of the fee in October, import cargo lingering nine days or more has declined by 60 percent at the Port of Los Angeles,” the port’s Executive Director Gene Seroka said on Jan. 13. “We’re very pleased with the progress, which is why the fee has not been enacted. Data will continue to be monitored daily as we work with our partners to find further efficiencies.”
The fines, if implemented, will begin at $100 per container, increasing by $100 per container each day. Containers set to be transported by truck or rail will incur fines if they remain at the port for nine days or more.
To date, the enforcement of the fine was delayed nine times in two months, previously on Nov. 22, Nov. 29, Dec. 6, Dec. 13, Dec. 20, Dec. 27, Jan. 3, and Jan. 10.
Port of Los Angeles officials said when the policy was announced that about 40 percent of import containers were idling at terminals for at least nine days.
City News Service contributed to this report.