To get the attention of shippers and carriers, the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles have instituted escalating fees for containers that are not picked up at the port. The fines start at $100 per day and go up with each following day.
These fees have been endorsed by the US Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force.
There are lots of efforts to try to give ocean carriers and shippers incentives to move cargo out. Railroads UP and BNSF also are planning to offer rebates to shippers who move cargo to them on weekends, using the longer time windows at the ports. The large rails are also taking other steps to improve flow. UP is reopening an idled rail terminal in the Chicago area, near the Centerpoint logistics complex. The refunds apply to containers in-gated at the ICTF (Intermodal Container Transfer Facility) in Long Beach CA. BNSF’s rebates apply both to LA and Long Beach.
We’ve also heard about California Governor Gavin Newsom’s efforts to find space to store containers, by leasing empty land near key transfer points.
Naturally, there are complaints about fees, which will surely be passed on to consumers. And many point to the general logjams for containers at warehouses and other choke points in supply chains. Dispersed bottlenecks are harder to do anything direct about; perhaps a money impact is the best way to get these diverse players to work harder to relieve the jam-ups.
And there’s a bit of contradiction, with the FMC looking into excessive demurrage and detention fees at port terminals, a long-standing gripe of shippers, while watching two ports add to those burdens.
Yet, there is some action. So the complaining is good, and a variety of approaches makes it more likely that the logjam will start to abate as more folks speed things up all over.
Read the articles for more details and different views.
Eric Kulisch, Air Cargo Editor Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Joanna Marsh Tuesday, October 26, 2021
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