Truck drivers in the United States are calling for a waiver of demurrage charges after nearly 15,000 containers were stranded at terminals
The us ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have been plagued by congestion since the summer and it is getting worse.
The California Trucking Association and the Port Trucking Association said this week that cargo traffic through the two ports was "close to complete paralysis."
According to the HTA, 10, 000-15,000 containers are stuck on the docks, hampering operations.
And a number of factors are contributing to congestion and backlog: first, pier productivity is down due to fewer COVID-19 workers;Second, chassis car shortage;The third is what trucking groups call a "lack of two-way trading" -- the inability of truckers to pick up import boxes at the same time as a single delivery.
The congestion has now spread to rail carriers and increased the turnaround time for dock trucks, from 70 minutes in August to 77 minutes in September and 81 minutes in October.
The trucking associations are now urging terminal operators and shipping lines to suspend demurrage fees.
"Shippers and truckers who are unable to return empty containers or pick up goods are incurring millions of dollars in additional late fees and demurrage fees," they argue.We hope to take immediate and fair action to end late fees and demurrage."
They point to the millions of dollars in demurrages imposed earlier this year when tow carriers agreed to waive demurrages because of closed gates and problems with reservation systems that hindered the return of empty containers.
The charges are likely to continue for some time.The National Retail Federation expects imports to taper off in coming months, but other groups predict they will remain high until The Lunar New Year in February.
The CTA and HTA said that if they did not see progress soon, they would take further action and plan to call on the FEDERAL Maritime Commission to step in.
Imports from all West Coast ports have surged this year.The latest figures from the National Retail Federation (NRF) show imports in September at 2.11m twenty-one equivalent units (TEUS), the highest level since the group began its Port Tracker in 2002.
The nation's busiest ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles both recorded record monthly cargo volumes in October.Long Beach's cargo volume in September was 795,580TEU, up 12.5 percent from the previous year, while Los Angeles' cargo volume was 883,625TEU, up 13.3 percent from September 2019.
"Part of the surge is due to restocking following the rebound in retail activity this summer, and part of it is because there will be no shortages if panic buying returns," said Jonathan Gold, vice President of supply chain and customs policy at the NRF.