The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach announced Monday that their new “Container Excess Dwell Fee” on companies whose containers linger at marine terminals will be delayed again, now scheduled to go into effect if necessary on Dec. 6

The fee, which was announced on Oct. 25, has been delayed due to progress in reducing the number of port containers at the terminal, with the ports reporting a 37% decline in aging cargo on the docks. Over the next week, port officials will monitor and reassess the fee’s implementation.

“There’s been significant improvement in clearing import containers from our docks in recent weeks,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said on Nov. 15, when the fee was also delayed. The fee was delayed again on Nov. 22.

“I’m grateful to the many nodes of the supply chain, from shipping lines, marine terminals, trucks and cargo owners, for their increased collaborative efforts,” Seroka added.

The fee is one of several efforts to speed the processing of cargo at the San Pedro Port Complex and eliminate a backlog of ships trying to deliver merchandise. The Port of Los Angeles said when it announced the policy that about 40% of import containers were idling at terminals for at least nine days.

Both Long Beach and Los Angeles’ harbor commissions unanimously approved the policy on Oct. 29, to be in effect for 90 days.

The fines, if implemented, will begin at $100 per container, increasing by $100 per container each day. Containers set to be transported by truck will incur fines if they remain at the port for nine days or more. For rail containers, fines will be assessed if they are at the port for three days or more.

Fees collected from the policy will be reinvested into programs that aim to enhance efficiency, accelerate cargo velocity and address congestion impacts.

The policy to implement fees was developed in coordination with the Biden-Harris Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Port of Long Beach and supply chain stakeholders.

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh will travel to the Port of Los Angeles for a tour and discussion on efforts to ease the supply chain issues. He’ll be joined by Seroka, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero.

“In the face of a global pandemic, the Biden-Harris administration continues to confront our nation’s supply chain disruptions head-on and, as a result, idle containers at ports are down more than 30 percent and shipping prices are down 25 percent,” Walsh said in a statement Monday.

“As we continue to recover, the administration remains committed to working with local governments and labor and business leaders while implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will help further ease bottlenecks and support a stronger economy.”

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