LA, Long Beach ports to fine companies for lingering containers

SAN PEDRO, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Starting Nov. 1, shippers will be charged a fee for containers waiting to be picked up at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. It's the latest plan to ease the backlog of ships and containers at the ports.

For containers waiting to be picked up by train, after three days at the ports, shippers will be charged $100 a day per container.

For containers waiting to be picked up by trucks, fees will be imposed after nine days.

In both tiers, the fees go up $100 per container per day.

"We must expedite the movement of cargo through the ports to work down the number of ships at anchor," Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a statement.

"With the escalating backlog of ships off the coast, we must take immediate action to prompt the rapid removal of containers from our marine terminals," said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero.

The big question is if the plan will work.

The volume of ships waiting to be off-loaded and containers waiting to be picked up at the ports is at an all-time high. Much of the merchandise that's waiting to be picked up is holiday merchandise ranging from toys to clothing.

The Biden administration supports the plan. Currently the ports are running 24/7 to off load the waiting ships and get the containers where they need to be.

Amazon has announced it's adding more than 100,000 seasonal workers and adding more planes to help get online orders delivered in time for the holidays.

"We spend the full year thinking about how do we get ready for the holiday season. This year especially and with the pandemic, it's been more challenging than most," said John Felton with Amazon.

Forty percent of the nation's containers enter through these ports.

The advice from experts is to get your holiday shopping done early because empty shelves at your favorite stores are a strong possibility.

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