Dwelling on West Coast Dwell Fees

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UPDATE: 12/09/2021 PNW DWELL FEE UPDATE

While the escalating dwell fees for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have been deferred until at least December 13th, the Terminals in Tacoma and Seattle have instituted their own separate and compounding fees which are in effect currently for import containers. The current table can be found here.  

Husky Terminal containers that have been on the premises for more than 15 days must pay a one-time charge of $315 before the containers will be released.

Washington United Terminal also applies a dwelling fee of $310 for containers at the terminal for more than 15 days.

These are on top of the late fees of $230 a day that are applicable after four days.

For the SSA Terminal, escalating extended dwell time fees are as follows – 

$50 per container per day (days 1-5 after free time) 

$75 per container per day (days 6-10 after free time) 

$100 per container per day (days 11-15 after free time) 

$150 per container per day (any days thereafter)

These fees apply only to those import containers that have exceeded their free time at the terminal and are available for pick-up. One critical note to be aware of – delays due to customs issues are not exempt from these fees and all documentation should be submitted and approved promptly to avoid very costly delays and fines. 

If you have questions or concerns regarding your import containers that are moving through the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma, please contact your Coppersmith representative to discuss the best way to proceed. We will continue to update this story right here as we have new information or updated deadlines and fee structure changes. Stay tuned to Coppersmith for alerts and announcements and sign up for our newsletter to get the latest and most important information about the logistics industry straight to your inbox each month!

Update on PierPASS TMF adjustment

PierPASS Adjusts TMF as of December 1, 2021 – January 31, 2022The West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) announced that the Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will be temporarily adjusted from December 1, 2021, through January 31, 2022, subject to regulatory clearance by the Federal Maritime Commission. From December 1, 2021, through January 31, 2022, the TMF will be $78.23 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) or $156.46 for all other sizes of container for non-exempt international container moves through the terminals at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:59 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Recently announced, the ports of LA and Long Beach are assessing “emergency” dwell fees to containers in an effort to clear out the tremendous backlog of containers trying to find their way into the country. Because of the huge number of ships idling in the San Pedro Bay and the staggering quantity of containers idling, the fees are considered a necessary step to motivate carriers to move faster. 

“With the escalating backlog of ships off the coast, we must take immediate action to prompt the rapid removal of containers from our marine terminals,” said Port of Long Beach executive director Mario Cordero.

The dwell fees will be presented after nine days for truck shipments and six days for rail shipment on a compounding scale of $100 for the first day then $200 on the second day and so forth with no cap to the limit. This equates to $1500 on day five (100+200+300+400+500). 

While the fees have bristled carriers and caused retailers to warn they will more than likely pass them onto consumers, other ports are following LA and LB. In Tacoma, containers left for more than 15 days will be assessed a $315 which must be paid before the box can be retrieved. The $315 is in addition to the $230 per day late fee to which the containers are already subject. 

Part of the issue for both carriers and truckers will be access to the containers as the Port of Long Beach has temporarily allowed containers to be stacked four high instead of just two, burying a lot of boxes that will need to be cleared before the bottom containers can be retrieved. This puzzle will need a team of planning to navigate around the dwell fees as the scramble to recover ramps up before the fees kick off on November 15th. 

We at Coppersmith understand that this year has been fraught with unforeseen fees and escalating prices impacting every point of the supply chain. It has been our duty to plan ahead as far as we can to prevent and avoid excess fees wherever possible but the onslaught of imports coming to the US has taken much of the warehouse capacity out of the Los Angeles area, forcing containers to move further and further inland to find space. 

If you have concerns about your container shipments on the west coast, we encourage you to reach out to your Coppersmith representative to discuss the options available to recover your containers and mitigate any escalating fees. We are here to help you execute a logistics plan that offers time-saving value in the face of these ever-increasing “emergency” fees.