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No lingering! Los Angeles and Long Beach to issue fines for containers that overstay their welcome

New regulations to try and get boxes moving out of America’s main maritime gateways are coming in thick and fast now that president Joe Biden along with California governor, Gavin Newsom, have trained their sights on the mountains of containers piling up at docks at Long Beach and Los Angeles. How successful the new measures will be in resolving the US’s chronic supply chain problems remains to be seen however.

The latest initiative, announced yesterday, will see both ports fine companies whose containers linger too long at the terminals.

The twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach said in a statement that arriving containers scheduled to be moved by trucks will be allowed to stay for nine days before fines start accruing. Containers set to move by rail can stay at the ports for three days.

After that, ocean carriers will be charged $100 per container, increasing in $100 increments per container per day, the statement said. The new rules will go into effect November 1.

“The terminals are running out of space, and this will make room for the containers sitting on those ships at anchor,” Port of Long Beach executive director Mario Cordero said in the statement.

The Biden administration has recently allowed the port complex to operate 24 hours a day to try to get goods unloaded and out to consumers, but the move has received limited take-up to date.

Yesterday, Splash reported that the port of Long Beach has eased restrictions on stacking containers for three months whereby stacks four containers high will be allowed on private property instead of the normal two.

Box dwell time at Long Beach and neighbouring Los Angeles rose to a record 5.94 days in September, according to the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, more than twice its pre-pandemic normal.

New data from Clarkson Research Services shows that across the US west coast a total of 870,000 teu were at port or waiting for berth space to open up as of last Thursday, almost three times the 2016-19 average of 320,000 teu.

Credit Splash247 by Sam Chambers

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