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Maersk levies LA-LB congestion charge in peak season assessment

MAERSK is to levy an LA-Long Beach Port Congestion Fee to recover costs from a surge of import volumes and their impact on processing capacity including trucker turn times and dedicated weekend gates

05 October 2020 - 19:00

MAERSK is to levy an LA-Long Beach Port Congestion Fee to recover costs from a surge of import volumes and their impact on processing capacity including trucker turn times and dedicated weekend gates.

This news came with the Danish shipping giant's assessment of the North American west coast ports and the challenges they face in coping with the peak season this year,



'The outlook for the remainder of Q4 remains uncertain, but Maersk will continue to strive to match our trade capacity in line with market demand,' said the company statement.



'Based on the high volume of cargo flows of peak season, we encourage customers to add sufficient buffer to supply chain schedules - and inventory levels to ensure healthy supply chain resiliency,' it said.



For LA-Long Beach imports grew 20 per cent month to month in the periods of May - June and June - July, and rose five per cent for July - August. In July, import volumes to LA/Long Beach surpassed 2019 levels, and August demand levels grew 22 per cent year on year.



APM Terminals Pier 400 Los Angeles managed import volumes and container yard utilisations to minimise impact on vessel operations.



To lower the on-street dwell times, our inland delivery team is picking up empties from warehousing and distribution facilities. Maersk's plan is for Maersk Customer Service to help with this drive, providing customers the visibility of customer yards with idle empties that are available for use. This effort is being done to avoid drop/pick up facilities from being impacted.



In Canada, the Prince Rupert Terminal continues operating at maximum capacity. Vessel operations are being performed 24/7 with 13-15 gangs per day depending on yard space and train activity.



Centerm Vancouver is operating at maximum capacity. Current terminal recovery estimate is between weeks 46-48 after the completion of Centerm's crane removal project, active through week 40.



With the high volumes of peak season, Maersk is seeing a dip in labour availability with truckers, Warehouse and distribution workers and longshore labour. In Maersk longshore labour - we are seeing more casuals - since registered longshore workers are reaching their maximum hours - so the labour hall work assignment cycle goes to casuals as next in line.



Chassis' high dwell times that have import loads and being used as storage and increased chassis utilisation continues to trend. Maersk is seeing out of service chassis levels that are decreasing, which will help support peak season needs.


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