Fines Against Shipping Companies Delayed After Progress at LA Port

Fines Against Shipping Companies Delayed After Progress at LA Port Fines Against Shipping Companies Delayed After Progress at LA Port Cargo ships at dock awaiting a clearing of containers at the Port of Long Beach on November 12, 2021 in Long Beach, California. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty)

By Brian Freeman | Tuesday, 16 November 2021 05:43 PM

The Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex has postponed implementing hefty fines to ocean carriers whose cargo containers are stacked up at terminals amid international supply chain problems, The Press-Enterprise has reported.

The fines, which were scheduled to start Monday, will be postponed until at least Nov. 22 because shipping companies have made efforts to achieve early compliance to clear the cargo after the fine was approved by both harbor commission boards on Oct. 25, the ports announced.

Since that date, there has been a 26% decline in old cargo on the docks at the two ports.

"We’re encouraged by the progress our supply chain partners have made in helping our terminals shed long-dwelling import containers," said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero, The Press-Enterprise reported.

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka added that there had been "significant improvement" in clearing out containers over the past weeks.

"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 said.

The fines are set to be given to ocean carriers for all import containers remaining at marine terminals for nine or more days for those meant to be transported by truck, and six or more days for those set to travel by rail, according to gcaptain.com

The fine would be $100 per container, increasing in $100 increments per container per day until departing the terminal.

Asked if the ports were serious about charging the fees, Port of Los Angeles spokesman Phillip Sanfield said the genuine efforts by companies to clear out the containers is meeting the overall goal.

"As we said from the start, our goal is to clear the docks, not collect fees," Sanfield said. "Both ports saw significant improvement, so we will re-evaluate how the docks look in a week."

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