Will New Fees Encourage Carriers to Move Cargo Faster?

Retail Supply Chain Update

Retail supply chains remain strained by unprecedented global disruption.  Large retailers are applying significant logistics, distribution, human and financial resources—working around the clock to keep goods moving, especially ahead of the holiday season.
Yesterday the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach announced new dwell fees to address congestion. While leading retailers share the goal of restoring fluidity to the port complex, we are wary that carriers will simply pass the costs on to shippers, who are already moving cargo out of the ports as fast as possible.  Instead, carriers and terminal operators must do more to address the systemic issues that breed congestion.

Leading retailers operate sophisticated, streamlined supply chains that enable—even require—them to retrieve cargo from ports as soon as possible.  This often means 1-3 days, but this efficiency is predicated on the expectation that containers will be available at terminals when scheduled, and that empty containers can be returned.
If fees are simply passed on to shippers, there is no incentive for carriers and terminal operators to address the issues which can prevent shippers from accessing their cargo; including the equipment dislocation caused by the challenges of returning empty containers, and the availability of chassis.  Also, now is the time to reevaluate the PierPass system, its function, and its effect on port fluidity.  Lastly, the supply chain ecosystem must continue to move toward modernization and consistent data standards to enable supply chain visibility.
Retailers continue to support the work of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, as well as the Biden-Harris Administration, to find solutions that ease congestion at the ports, and ensure American businesses and consumers have access to the goods they need.

For more information, contact Jess Dankert.

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