The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for a second time have delayed collection of the new surcharge that was supposed to take effect November 15th. The surcharge was supposed to take effect as an attempt to unravel the massive port congestion. “The new tariffs, which escalate by $100 per day until container departure, are to be assessed on ocean carriers. Importers are upset that shipping companies are prepared to pass the cost onto them.”
The goal here was to improve fluidity in the ports since there was an all time high of container vessels waiting offshore for a berth. According to some shippers, they were using the ports as a makeshift warehouse in order to hold the non urgent cargo. As these ports were being used as warehousing, there was not much fluidity and caused even more congestion. “Before the pandemic swelled import volumes by more than 20%, containers for local delivery typically remained on dock less than four days, while containers destined for trains dwelled less than two days.”
The Southern California port complex handles 40% of all loaded imports to the U.S. and the congestion there has impacted supply chains across the country.