The Los Angeles and Long Beach Port Commissions have voted to implement a ‘Container Excess Dwell Fee’ on companies whose containers linger at marine terminals – one of many efforts to expedite the processing of cargo at the San Pedro port complex and eliminate a backlog of ships trying to deliver cargo. Both committees unanimously approved the new policy on Friday, which will be in effect for 90 days.

Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday pre-approved the Los Angeles Harbor Commission advance fee authorization given the policy change on Friday. Typically, the board gives its final approval after receiving the commission’s recommendations, but the board has taken steps in advance so that the fines can go into effect on Monday.

Fines will start at $ 100 per container, increasing by $ 100 per container each day.

“Starting Monday, we will be taking daily data snapshots of how long import containers remain at our container terminals,” Port of Los Angeles executive director Gene Seroka said. “If progress is made in cleaning our docks, I have the discretion to delay the start of fees beyond November 15. Our goal is to see a significant improvement in our docks so that we do not need to. ‘administer fees. “

Containers intended for transport by truck will face fines if they remain in port for nine days or more. According to the Port of Los Angeles, about 40% of import containers idle at terminals for at least nine days. For rail containers, fines will be imposed if they are in port for three days or more.

“Our goal with this program is not to generate income,” said Jaime Lee, chairman of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission. ships waiting to enter our port. ”

Fees collected under the policy will be reinvested in programs to improve efficiency, speed up freight speeds and address the impacts of congestion.

“In my communities, especially Wilmington, the impacts create danger for the people who live there. Los Angeles City Councilor Joe Buscaino, whose district covers the port area, said ahead of Wednesday’s vote to pre-authorize the policy. “Containers are stacked dramatically high and dangerously high, trucks parked with containers in front of people’s aisles, endless truck traffic in residential areas. In fact, over 400 citations have been given by (the) Port ( police department) in September. ”

The fee implementation policy was developed in coordination with the Biden-Harris Supply Chain Disruption Task Force, the United States Department of Transportation, the Port of Long Beach and chain stakeholders. ‘supply. President Joe Biden recently announced an agreement for the two ports to operate around the clock to speed up the movement of goods. Long Beach last week eased restrictions on the height of stacked cargo containers in hopes of allowing more container storage at the port and moving ships faster.

According to the ports, before the COVID-19 pandemic, containers intended for local delivery stayed less than four days in sea terminals, while containers intended for transport by trains remained less than two days. But these figures have “ increased considerably, making it difficult to clear cargo from terminals and the arrival of ships at anchor, ” according to the ports.

“We need to speed up the movement of goods through ports to reduce the number of ships at anchor”, Seroka said Monday when announcing the fines.

“If we can clear this cargo at slow speed, we will have a lot more space at our terminals to accept empties, handle exports and improve flow for the wide range of cargo owners who use our ports.” Long Beach Port Executive Director Mario Cordero said “Immediate action” is needed in response to the “growing backlog of ships out of the mantle”.

“The terminals are running out of space, and this will make room for the containers placed on these ships at anchor,” he added. he said.

On Thursday, California and the US Department of Transportation announced a multibillion-dollar loan deal that California could use to improve supply chain infrastructure, including upgrades to the Los Angeles and Long ports. Beach.

The announcement will not affect the current backlog, but officials hope it will make the infrastructure system more equipped for the future.

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