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Jan. 6, 2022

As Containers Pile Up, So Do Port Fees. Here’s What You Can Do.

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A rash of new fees has popped up at US ports and terminals. As congestion continues to prevent a steady flow of containers, the fees are an extra nudge to collect cargo in a timely fashion—or pay the price.

We’ve created a quick reference for you to learn more, plan ahead, and minimize risk.

US Port Fees to Watch

These fees are in addition to demurrage fees, which are typical to the industry. They may also change suddenly or substantially, at the discretion of the ports and terminals.


Container Dwell

A Port of LA/LB fee

Where: Port of LA/LB

When: > 8 days

Amount: $100, increasing by $100 per day daily

Effective: Jan 30

Excess Dwell

Fees that vary by terminals at LA/LB and SEA/TAC

Los Angeles/Long Beach

Where: LCBT

When: > 5 days

Amount: ~ $45 - $110 per day

Effective: Jan 15, 2022

Where: PCT

When: > 5 days

Amount: ~ $50 - $150 per day

Effective: Dec 15, 2021

Seattle/Tacoma

Where: Husky

When: > 15 days

Amount: $315 for every 5 days or less

Effective: Nov 1, 2021

Where: Washington United

When: > 15 days

Amount: ~ $310 every 7 days

Effective: Nov 8, 2021

Where: SSA Terminals 18, 30, and 5

When: > 5 days

Amount: ~ $50 - $100/day

Effective: Jan 30, 2022

Missed/Canceled Appointments

A terminal fee if truckers fail to show or cancel

Los Angeles/Long Beach

Where: APMT

When: Fail to show or cancel within 2 to 4 hours

Amount: ~ $25 - $65

Effective: Mar 1, 2022

New York/New Jersey

Where: APMT Elizabeth

When: 1 hour after appointment window

Amount: ~ $65

Effective: Oct 1, 2021


How to Mitigate Port Fees

The reality is total avoidance of demurrage and other port fees isn’t always possible.

The underlying issue is demand has outstripped infrastructure, industry-wide. Ships aren’t big enough. Ports aren’t big enough. There’s not enough equipment of all kinds.

The constraints of the physical world are yoking logistics’ best attempts at doing more, faster. The result is a giant traffic jam: nobody’s fault, everybody’s problem. The containers just can’t move fast enough.

Flexport Head of Compliance as a Service Michael Baekboel recommends reframing the issues around port fees.

Focus on optimal use of containers. You’ll minimize fee exposure, plus any gained speed could benefit your supply chain—and the global supply chain, as a whole.

“In the Flexport Platform, you can conduct your own audit by tracking data points to reasonably validate charges,” explains Baekboel, “but you can also tackle the root of the problem, and that’s container flow.”

Consider end-to-end approaches that include routing options, trucking availability, and warehouse space.

For instance, OceanMatch can maximize container use and turn containers back around faster. Or you can also shift urgently needed SKUs to LCL solutions, which can help sidestep late-container concerns.

Think of these strategies as decongestants. They won’t resolve all debacles, but they’ll reduce your risk of sticker shock by helping containers move as quickly as possible.

Learn more about how to create cost and speed efficiencies for your supply chain when you sign up for Flexport.

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