LA Port to Levy Fee on Delayed Empty Cargo Containers


The Port of Los Angeles resolved to charge ocean carriers a levy for empty containers. These containers linger around the marine terminals for nine days or more. The proposed policy is subject to the final approval of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission, which would meet for a vote on January 13, 2022. If approved, the levy on delayed empty cargo containers will come into force on January 30, 2022.

From that date, ocean carriers would be charged $100 for each empty cargo containers that stays at the terminal for over nine days. If a delayed container is not moved by the ninth day, the levy becomes $100 per day until the container exits the terminal. LA Port is banking on the policy to ensure better and faster cargo shipping operations.

Purpose of LA Port Cargo Containers Levy Fee

The executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, Gene Seroka, justifying the levy says, “While we have seen significant success reducing import containers on our docks the past two months, too many empty cargo containers are sitting on marine terminals.”

Gene Seroka emphasizes that the new levy imposed on delayed empty containers would accelerate cargo processing at the ports.

His position was corroborated by Matt Schrap, the president of the Harbor Trucking Association, who said, “Cargo is moving, but a lot of it is going on the rail, and we are still drowning in empties.” Like the import dwell fee, this levy imposed is aimed at creating space on our docks, clearing the way for more ships and improving motility, Matt Schrap explains.

Drastic Reduction in the Number of Cargo Containers 

With the previous efforts to clear the ports, the number of delayed containers dropped from 95,000 to 71,000. It has since continued to reduce drastically. While this is excellent progress recorded, the ports have not achieved their aim to ensure a 24/7 pickup and delivery operation of all containers in the marine terminal.

Therefore, it became evident that empty containers were the main problem. The pile up of empty containers was so high that some containers ended up in storehouses. These problems need to be mitigated with the reduction of empty cargo containers at the ports in the New Year.

Actions Following the Implementation of the Levy Fee

With the new policy targeting empty containers, the port officers will scrutinize the operations of container shipping. Also, the officials are striving to reduce port delays to the barest minimum.

Once the empty container levy is effected, the ocean carriers would be charged when the container is about to leave by truck between the space of nine days and less. Ultimately, the policy would enable smoother operations at the backlogged LA port.

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