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CMA CGM implements incentive program to ease congestion at ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach

Starting on December 1, the CMA CGM Group will offer incentives to importers to pick up their containers from terminals at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach within eight days of their arrival. This early container pickup incentive program will run for 90 days and is intended to help improve fluidity at America’s largest import gateway.

Shippers who pick up their containers within the eight-day window will receive $100 per container for daytime weekday pickups and $200 per container for night and weekend pickups.

CMA CGM says the incentive funds will “offset costs incurred by tensions on [customers’] supply chains.”

The company anticipates that it could pay out more than $22m in the program’s 90 days.

CMA CGM will also financially support the Fenix Marine Services terminal in expanding its hours of operation so that containers can be picked up day and night seven days a week.

“The CMA CGM Group is committed to doing everything we can to assist in improving overall supply chain velocity in southern California,” said Ed Aldridge, President of CMA CGM and APL North America, in a statement. “By incentivizing the movement of containers off the terminals and ensuring pickups can be made on nights and weekends at FMS, we will decrease truck turn times and expedite the flow of goods into the United States.”

Meanwhile, port bosses at California’s top two ports yesterday decided to postpone a planned container dwell fee they had originally planned to begin implementing on November 15. Since that date, the two ports have delayed implementation each week as the decline in aging cargo on the docks continues. Since the fee was announced on October 25, the ports have seen a combined decline of 37% in that metric.

The executive directors of the ports will reassess the situation after another week of monitoring data. They will decide on December 6 if the fee implementation will go ahead or a further delay is warranted.

Up the Pacific coast, at the Port of Seattle, SSA Marine announced this week that it will begin charging a dwell fee for containers lingering longer than five days at terminals 5, 18 and 30. A company notice said: “As with other ports on the West Coast who either have already implemented additional storage charges or will soon be doing so, the failure of importers picking up their containers in a timely manner has created severe congestion issues that have prevented terminal operators from properly servicing vessels destined for their terminals. We sincerely hope the additional storage charge will encourage cargo owners to pick up their containers, which will allow the terminals in Seattle to again properly service vessels destined to our port, and once that has been accomplished, the temporary storage charges will cease.”

Meanwhile, the Port of Oakland reported a cargo volume decline in October of 20% year over year. Unlike the other major ports on the West Coast, Oakland has not been experiencing supply congestion, as some carriers have chosen to bypass the port following delays at the California ports. The port noted that 43% fewer ships stopped in Oakland last month than in October 2020.

Shipping lines have begun to restore Oakland services, so the number of vessel arrivals is expected to be up for November.

Kim Biggar

Kim Biggar started writing in the supply chain sector in 2000, when she joined the Canadian Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Management. In 2004/2005, she was project manager for the Government of Canada-funded Canadian Logistics Skills Committee, which led to her 13-year role as communications manager of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. A longtime freelance writer, Kim has contributed to publications including The Forwarder, 3PL Americas, The Shipper Advocate and Supply Chain Canada.
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