LOS ANGELES — A container delay penalty at the ports of Los Angeles, which has not taken effect since its inception, was deferred for the ninth consecutive time on Jan. 14, the day after the Port Commission voted 5-0 in favor of the extension the deadline for imposing a fine is April 29.
According to the announcement, the ports will now potentially start collecting the fine next Friday, January 21, if needed.
Since October 2021, harbor commissioners have intended to penalize freight companies, known as the container parking fee, to expedite the removal of containers idling at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, in hopes of clearing the backlog of ships attempting to unload goods.
But ports have continued to delay collecting the fine after noticing a significant drop in the number of delayed cargoes – about 55 percent for both ports combined – since the levy was announced.
“Since the levy was announced in October, the number of imports delayed nine days or more has decreased by 60% at the Port of Los Angeles,” Port of Los Angeles Chief Executive Gene Seroka said Thursday. “We are very pleased with the progress, which is why the fee has not been introduced. Data will continue to be tracked daily as we work with our partners to further improve efficiency.”
Penalties, if introduced, will start at $100 per container and increase by $100 per container every day. Containers intended for transport by road or rail will be fined if they remain in the port for nine or more days.
To date, the execution of the fine has been delayed nine times in two months, previously on November 22, November 29, December 6, December 13, December 20, December 27, January 3 and January 3. 10.
Port of Los Angeles officials said that when the policy was announced, about 40 percent of import containers had been idle at terminals for at least nine days.
The City News Service contributed to this report.