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Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach To Fine Companies For Slow Container Movement

Ports In California
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 16: Aerial view of containers waiting at Port of Long Beach to be loaded onto trains and trucks on October 16, 2021 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Qian Weizhong/VCG via Getty Images)

LONG BEACH (CBSLA) - The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach made a joint-announcement on Monday - both ports will begin fining companies whose containers linger at marine terminals for too long.

Containers that are set up for truck transport will have nine days before the fines incur. After those nine days, a $100 fine per container will be assessed, with an additional $100 every day that each container remains at the port. Rail containers, transported by train, will have three days before the same set of fines incur.

This is just another step in a series of moves made over recent weeks to ease the backlog of ships trying to deliver merchandise. Last week the ports announced that they will temporarily relax their container stacking limit, while President Joe Biden announced a plan for the ports to operate 24 hours a day, just two weeks ago. Port Hueneme has also become a relief valve for the overflowing ports in L.A. and Long Beach.

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka released a statement today in regards to the announcement. He said, "We must expedite the movement of cargo through the ports to work down the number of ships at anchor... Approximately 40% of the containers on our terminals today fall into the two categories. If we can clear this idling cargo, we'll have much more space on our terminals to accept empties, handle exports, and improve fluidity for the wide range of cargo owners who utilize our ports."

This was echoed by the Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero in his own statement, who also stated that immediate action was necessary to take care of the sudden escalation in the number of ships off the coast.

Both ports claim that containers for local delivery normally sat at marine terminals for less than four days, while containers set to be carried by trains remained for less than two days, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the time it takes for containers to be transported from their ports has increased significantly.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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