Los Angeles Ports Delay Start of Container Fees

By Jill McLaughlin
Jill McLaughlin
Jill McLaughlin
November 15, 2021 Updated: November 15, 2021

Operators were given more time to clear thousands of shipping containers from the docks at Los Angeles and Long Beach ports Nov. 15.

Port authorities announced they would delay the start of a new “Container Dwell Fee” until Nov. 22, citing “significant improvement” in clearing the containers in recent weeks.

“There’s been significant improvement in clearing import containers from our docks in recent weeks,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a statement. “We will continue to closely monitor the data as we approach November 22.”

The ports will charge $100 a day for each container, increasing by $100 per container each day. Fines begin for containers left for more than nine days if it will be moved by truck. Rail carriers will be charged after six days.

Since the fee was announced on Oct. 25, the twin ports have seen a decline of 26 percent in cargo on the docks.

“This encouraging momentum supports a delay in implementation of the fee,” port authorities said in the release.

Los Angeles and Long Beach ports import 40 percent of all containerized imports into the United States. They are handling the most goods in their history—17 percent more than their previous record year.

The area continues to see record numbers of cargo ships arrive daily, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California.

By Nov. 12, 83 container ships were at anchor or drifting in the ocean. A total of 110 containers ships were in port. These were new records, according to a Nov. 12 email by Kip Louttit, head of the Marine Exchange of Southern California.

Louttit reported a slight trend of increasing traffic on Nov. 12.

Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said in a statement on Nov. 15 that the port was encouraged by the progress made to clear containers.

“Postponing consideration of the fee provides more time, while keeping the focus on the results we need,” Cordero said.