Port of Los Angeles fines first to target lingering empties
THE Port of Los Angeles, slow to make good its threat fining overstaying containers, is now warning it may fine empties for not leaving the docks, reports the American Journal of Transportation.
Speaking at a press conference port executive director Eugene Seroka said the backlog of empties had become a serious problem.
“We will look at alternatives including levying fees against liner companies for empty containers that dwell excessively at our marine terminals. Currently 60 per cent of all empty containers have been lingering nine days or longer.
“Nearly 71,000 empty containers are located on port terminals and port property. We are imploring liner shipping companies to bring in more and larger sweeper vessels to clear out these empty containers,” Mr Seroka said.
He also also a shortage of chassis needed for trucks to move containers on and off marine terminals.
“The chassis on the ground have been modeled on a 3.5-day street dwell time. Right now that dwell time is up to 10 days. For every incremental day a chassis is out on the street we need to inject another 3,500 units per day so that it is safe to say that within the current environment we would need between 25,000 – 27,000 additional chassis just to keep the supply chain fluid,” he said.
“We’ve been working with the [Biden] Administration to alleviate supply chain breakpoints and chassis are at one of those. So, speeding up the velocity and getting containers off the terminal quicker, getting them devanned into the warehouses and bringing those assets back to the port is the best way to improve chassis inventory.”
The problem of chassis availability is partly complicated by tariffs on steel products that were imposed under the Trump Administration. The imposition of tariffs on steel products has slowed US chassis production with the result that “it’s been difficult to get those assets into the US and on the ground to port communities”.
Mr Seroka said that getting US chassis producers to increase production was essential because orders for new chassis are currently backed up into 2022 and 2023.