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LA Port Defers Empty-Box Fee, Seeks Options to Clear Docks

  • No.1 U.S. container hub works with shippers, truckers on ideas
  • Empty-container penalty was due to kick in on Jan. 30
Shipping containers at the Port of Los Angeles in California.

Shipping containers at the Port of Los Angeles in California.

Photographer: Bing Guan/Bloomberg
Updated on

The Port of Los Angeles, the U.S.’s largest for container traffic, has deferred a plan to charge ocean carriers that fail to clear empty containers off the docks and is consulting with the logistics industry on alternatives on how to cut the backlogs.

The proposed $100 daily penalty -- which would have kicked in at the end of the month -- may have “unintended consequences,” because some of the empty containers that have been sitting the longest may be buried under others, costing time “that our marine terminals simply don’t have to waste right now,” port Executive Director Gene Seroka said Thursday. He was speaking in a presentation to the Harbor Commission, which was scheduled to vote on the fee at the meeting.