Some Carriers Resorting to West Coast Surcharges After All

Some of the carriers that suspended their congestion surcharges last week for US West Coast ports have decided to push forward with their plans and introduce surcharges starting on or after November 26th.

US Lines and Evergreen Line attributed to this decision the “deteriorating labour situation on the West Coast” which has reduced their respective productivity.

“These labor slowdowns are exacerbating existing congestion in the PSW (service from U.S. West Coast to/from Oceania) and creating new congestion in Oakland and the PNW. These conditions have made it necessary to implement our congestion surcharge,” US Lines said.

US Lines added it would implement the port congestion surcharge for all cargo destined to US West Coast ports of discharge received on or after November 26. The surcharge will be applicable for CY and IPI cargo movements.

“As the situation on the USWC remains very unpredictable, US Lines will reassess on a weekly basis and advise whether the charge remains in effect or will be suspended for cargo received for each USWC port during that week,” the company explained.

Evergreen said that the ongoing port congestion at the US West Coast ports has seriously disrupted their vessel schedules and terminal operations, resulting in significant increases of operation costs and financial losses.

“Without foreseeable relief in sight, we are forced to restore the plan of congestion charge collection for all US import shipment via the USWC ports,” the shipping company went on to say.

The surcharges will be as follows:

  • USD 800 per 20′ Container
  • USD 1,000 per 40′ Container
  • USD 1,125 per 40′ High Cube Container
  • USD 1,266 per 45′ High Cube Container

Congestion at Southern California ports has led shippers to reroute cargo through Oakland, adding hundreds of additional import containers weekly to Oakland volumes.

Two weeks ago the first vessel diverted from Southern California to bypass congestion arrived in Oakland.

Containerized imports shipped through the Port of Oakland surged 9.17% in October from a year ago,  the port said in its quarter results, describing this as the biggest jump in import cargo volume in six months.

Vessels discharged the equivalent of 73,124 20-foot import containers in Oakland during October. That was up from 66,983 containers handled in the same period last year.

World Maritime News Staff