News

Customer Advisory - PSW Container Excess Dwell Fee

Postponement Notice

(Florham Park, NJ)… As previously communicated, on October 25, 2021, the Port Authorities of Los Angeles and Long Beach provided it’s notice of intention to start billing a “Container Excess Dwell Fee” commencing on November 15, 2021. The fee would go into effect should the ports not see a material improvement in the clearance of long dwelling containers at the terminals.

This advisory serves as a notification to inform customers of the decision by the Port Authority to delay the introduction of the fee by one week with a commencement date of November 22, 2021. Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka was quoted in saying “There’s been significant improvement in clearing import containers from our docks in recent weeks”. In fact, since the fee was announced on October 25th, they have seen a decline of 26% on the combined aging of cargo on their docks.

Terminal availability through holiday weekend:

• Thursday: all terminals are closed for Thanksgiving holiday

• Friday: APMT Pier 400 and TTI Long Beach are open for first and second shift (normal operating hours)

• Saturday: APMT Pier 400 and TTI Long Beach are open for the first shift (normal operating hours)

• Both APMT & TTI are accepting Maersk empties for dual transactions

Contingency plans for longstanding cargo:

In our last advisory we communicated the potential to rail containers to help mitigate fee exposure. One of the possible solutions may be railing longstanding containers to a container yard in Bouse, AZ. This is one of the options we are investigating, and we expect a decision and more information to be available in the coming days. Our Customer experience team will be in contact with you to notify next steps and any change to your transport plan will be communicated directly to you or your team.

We ask for your continued support in prioritizing the pickup of ageing cargo in Long Angeles and Long Beach as we work to decongest the marine terminals and with that allow vessels to discharge your freight.

Please contact your Hamburg Süd representative with any questions that you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When will the Emergency fee go into effect?

The program will go into effect on November 1, 2021, but penalties will not be assessed until effectiveNovember 22, 2021. This three-week grace period has been given to allow cargo interest parties with the appropriate time to clear the docks. Should material progress be made, it is at the discretion of the Port Executive Director to extend that effective fee assessment date even further.

2. How will the fee be assessed?

The fee will be assessed on all containers dwelling for 9 days or more on truck moves or for 6 days or more on rail bound move. The 9th day and 6th day respectively will be the first charge day.

3. What is the fee structure?

Local Import Loaded Container

Days on Terminal Daily Charge ($) Cumulative Charge ($)
9 $100 $100
10 $200 $300
11 $300 $600
12 $400 $1,000
13 $500 $1,500
More than 13 Incremental $100 increase per day with no limit  

Intermodal Import Loaded Container

Days on Terminal Daily Charge ($) Cumulative Charge ($)
6 $100 $100
7 $200 $300
8 $300 $600
9 $400 $1,000
10 $500 $1,500
More than 10 Incremental $100 increase per day with no limit  

4. How will the dwell days be applied for containers on terminal on November 15th?

All import containers on terminal that are dwelling for more than 8 days effective November 22nd are deemed to be at 9 days dwelling for purposes of fee charges regardless of how long the container has been dwelling.

5. With the program effective date commencing November 1st, can charges be applied retroactively?

As per the Port Authority of Los Angeles Tariff No.4 circular found here, we do not see any verbiage that supports the retroactive application of the fee.

6. Will this charge apply to all PSW containers?

The charge will only be applicable to all waterfront terminal dwelling import containers. The charge will not be applicable to any non-waterfront rail yard containers.

7. Who will be charging this fee?

The relevant Port Authority will be charging the fee.

8. Who is responsible for paying this fee?

The Port Authority of Los Angeles Tariff No. 4 states: “This Excessive Dwell Fee shall be billed directly to the Ocean Carrier under whose bill of lading a Container subject to the fee was discharged…” This means that the Ports are submitting the bill to Ocean Carriers to act as collection agent to charge those with a cargo interest in the laden import containers

9. As a customer of Hamburg Süd, should my container exceed the defined dwell times, will I be billed this fee?

Yes, should your container not be removed beyond the defined dwell times, Hamburg Süd will pass this cost onto all customers as the owner of the cargo that is dwelling on the terminal, resulting in the fee from the Ports.

10. How will I be billed?

Hamburg Süd will issue an invoice for the accumulated owed fee.

11. Will the fee be calculated based on calendar or working days?

The surcharge will be applied based on calendar days, inclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.

12. How will the number of days be measured?

Discharge from the vessel will constitute day 0. Days are then measured based on the completion of a 24-hour period commencing 3:00AM each calendar day.

13. For shipments booked with Hamburg Süd on a through bill to an inland rail location, should the container be subject to rail delays, will customers still be subject to the fee?

While Hamburg Süd will still be subject to the fee by the Port Authority, for through bills to inland rail locations where the container was subject to delays, Hamburg Süd will not pass this fee onto the customer.

14. Will there be a maximum cap on the fee, or will the charge continue for the duration the container is on terminal/rail?

There is no maximum cap on the fee that will be applied.

15. Will containers held for Customs Exam be exempt?

No, all containers will be subject to the fee irrespective of release status.

16. Will the fee be applicable for store door moves where Hamburg Süd controls the trucking (MPT)?

No, the fee will not be applicable unless the delay is caused by a freight, OBL, customs hold (exam or any government inspection) or any receiving constraints at the customer’s warehouse.

17. How will the surcharge be applied for Carrier Preferred Trucker moves?

The customer is responsible for the fee on all Customer Preferred Trucker moves.

18. How will the charge apply to me if I have a no-new-fee clause in my service contract?

This is a government impelled charge, the no-new-fee clause does not apply in this instance.

19. Will Hamburg Süd have to publish this new surcharge in our tariff and give 30-day notice per FMC regulations?

Hamburg Süd has published a new surcharge in its tariff under the name “Emergency Government Port Storage Charge”. The published tariff rule allows for this new surcharge to be applicable effective immediately. Customers can therefore expect this surcharge to be applied on the same timeline as announced by the Ports.

20. What if I am unable to pick up my container due to a lack of chassis, will the emergency surcharge be waived?

We are unfortunately unable to waive this government-mandated fee due to lack of chassis. For CY and SD (CPT) moves, the trucker nominated by the customer is responsible for securing the chassis.

21. What happens if my container is placed in a closed area at the terminal?

APMT and TTI have confirmed that they will not be placing cargo in a closed area.

22. Who is responsible for the fee if the container is not made available by the terminal?

Customers will not be charged the fee if the container is not made available by the terminal for pickup.

23. If an appointment pickup time is not available, how will this fee be assessed?

If no appointment times are available for the prescribed 4 free days from container availability and the container was not subject to delays caused by a freight, OBL or customs hold (exam or any government inspection), while Hamburg Süd will still be subject to the fee, the same will not be assessed towards the customer.

24. What solutions will be made available to Hamburg Süd customers?

We are actively working on a solution to have all long dwelling Hamburg Süd containers extracted from the terminals and stored in a holding yard.

25. What happens once a container is gated out and placed in a holding yard (per the solution outlined above)?

The container will no longer be subject to the Emergency fee but will continue to be subjected to demurrage fees.

26. Will customers be charged a drayage fee for the movement of their containers from the port to the holding yard?

Yes, a drayage fee will be applicable.

27. Will all Hamburg Süd customers be offered this solution?

As there are only a finite amount of capacity at these holding yards, movement will be subject to availability.

28. Will my container be placed on hold until the fee is paid?

Containers will not be placed on hold subject to payment of the excess dwell fee. Instead, collection will be done as a follow up process. Container demurrage holds will continue to be applied per current standard practice.

Please contact your Hamburg Süd representative with any questions that you may have.

Note: We are still actively working with both regulators and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach alike to gain a full understanding of all the issues at hand and as more information becomes available, we will do our utmost to keep you informed