Logistics industry professionals say retailers and other cargo owners will ultimately bear the cost of drastic new fees announced Monday by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in response to mounting congestion disrupting the entire U.S. economy. Under the new policy commencing November 1, the ports will charge ocean carriers, starting at US$100.00 per day and per container, for containers that fall into one of two categories; containers scheduled to move by truck and those moving by rail. In the case of containers scheduled to move by truck, ocean carriers will be charged for every container “dwelling” nine days or more, while for containers moving by rail, carriers will be charged if the container has dwelled for three days or more. Dwell times typically refer to the period between when the container is unloaded from a ship and the time when it is picked up.
The fees ostensibly penalize ocean carriers for not quickly clearing out imported containers piling up in their terminals, but a lack of details in the press release left freight industry stakeholders confused about how the rules will be applied. Within minutes of the announcement by the twin ports, container lines began sending letters to importers alerting them to be prepared for the new charges. Clearly, they are not just absorbing these costs as a part of doing business to get this cargo out, they are passing these costs on to the beneficial cargo owner.
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For more information, please call David Lychek, Director – Ocean & Air Services at (905) 882-4880, ext. 1207.