Congestion Dwell Fee at POLB & POLA

 In Breaking News, Industry Insider, Industry News

UPDATE 8/3 – The ports have announced another delay on the congestion dwell fee. This news comes as the ports have continued to see a decrease in stagnant containers. The ports will continue to monitor their data, postponing to August 26th. This additional delay fuels speculation that the fee will not be assessed at all.


Starting November 1st, the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angels began assessing surcharges to ocean carriers for import containers left dwelling on their terminals in an effort to ease the current record-breaking congestion. They will begin collecting the fees on November 15th.

The following statement is from the Port of Long Beach outlining the specific details of the new  ‘Congestion Dwell Fee.’ 

“Dear Customer,

Following earlier actions to help move loaded inbound containers off terminal to make room for containers aboard the record number of ships at anchor, the Port of Long Beach, in conjunction with the Port of Los Angeles and the Port Envoy to the Biden-Harris Administration Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, announced a new “Congestion Dwell Fee” targeting long-dwelling inbound containers:

  • Local delivery containers (truck) dwelling on terminal 9+ days
  • Intermodal containers (rail) dwelling on terminal 6+ days

We estimate that 40% of all containers sitting in the terminals are local boxes dwelling 9+ days and intermodal boxes dwelling 6+ days.  The objective is to incentivize the prompt removal of these long-dwelling containers from the terminals.

The surcharge will be assessed on the ocean carriers.  It is not intended as a pass-through fee to shippers.

The fee increases in $100 increments per container per day until the container leaves the terminal.  The fee is currently scheduled to be collected no sooner than November 15, 2021.  On that day, the Port of Long Beach will be counting all inbound containers that fall into the two categories above and charge a $100 fee per day that compounds daily in $100 increments (i.e. $100 on day 1 + $200 on day 2 + $300 on day 3…).

We are in the process of defining the collection mechanism.  Any fees collected from dwelling cargo will be re-invested for programs designed to enhance efficiency, accelerate cargo velocity and address congestion impacts.

The Ports updated their respective tariffs to reflect this new fee on October 29.

The announcement of this “Congestion Dwell Fee” is the third in a series of actions undertaken by the Port of Long Beach to help bring the containers vessels at anchor to berth. The first step was to activate vacant land.  In Long Beach, our Short-Term Overflow Resource (STOR) at Pier S is now up to 65 acres and has a capacity of 14,000 containers for the temporary storage and staging of wheeled and empty containers.  In the coming weeks, we plan to activate additional vacant land for the temporary storage of empty containers.

The second step was to expand hours of operations at our terminals.  In Long Beach, TTI is open 24 hours, Monday through Thursday.  All of our terminals (ITS, LBCT, PCT, Pier A, Pier C and TTI) are flexing gate hours and some are open on Friday nights and weekends.

We are working closely with all of our supply chain stakeholders and the Port Envoy to move as many containers out of terminal as quickly as possible.  We appreciate your continued cooperation and value your business relationship.”


Trans-Border will continue to monitor this developing situation and provide updates as needed. If you have any questions, please reach out to at or (800) 493-9444.