In another attempt to clear space on the docks, officials at the Port of Los Angeles said Thursday they plan to charge ocean carriers for empty containers left nine days or longer at the port. The policy will take effect starting January 30 if approved by the Los Angeles Harbor Commission, which is set to take up the issue on January 13.
Under the policy, ocean carriers will be charged $100 for an empty 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 port’s executive director, officials said.
The move follows a temporary import dwell fee policy announced in late October that has similar penalties. The port has delayed implementing that policy because import containers dwelling more than nine days have been reduced by 53% since Oct. 24, port officials said.
“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,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a press release December 30. “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.”
Any fees collected from dwelling cargo will be reinvested in programs designed to enhance efficiency, accelerate cargo velocity, and address congestion impacts, according to port officials.