Shipping Crisis Update — FMC Steps Up and New Fees Threatened/Imposed/Delayed as Situation Deteriorates

On Jan. 10, the Ports of LA/Long Beach again delayed the so-called “super demurrage” fee on long-standing import containers on the ports, citing a 45% reduction in those containers, the same decline the ports have cited off and on for the last two months. Meanwhile, 5 of 6 terminals at the Port of Long Beach are now imposing their own “Temporary Storage Charge” on long-standing containers on docks. And, on Dec. 30, the Port of Los Angeles announced that, effective Jan. 30, the port would start charging carriers $100/day for any empty container left on docks for more than 9 days. TGA believes carriers will pass on any fees to you, the shipper, and will respond to the new empty container fee by further restricting our ability to return empty containers. In good news, on Dec. 30, the Federal Trade Commission (FMC) launched an investigation into ocean carrier Wan Hai, citing dozens of instances where Wan Hai charged detention fees while providing shippers no way to return empty containers. Meanwhile, at least 102 ships are waiting at anchor to enter the Ports of LA/Long Beach, with one estimate showing as many as 166 ships queueing up to enter the ports.