The Port of Oakland cut free dwell time for containers from seven days to four in an effort to push customers to pick up their cargo more quickly. According to a report from CNBC, the port is also looking at implementing a long-dwell fee, potentially joining other US West Coast ports that have already done so. (While the ports of LA and Long Beach announced a container dwell fee in October 2021, they have regularly postponed its implementation. The ports of Seattle and Tacoma have been charging a long-dwell fee since November.)
Executive director Danny Wan said customers are using the port’s terminals as storage facilities. “We think the rates need to be higher to encourage cargo owners to move their cargo faster,” he said.
“The average dwell in Oakland terminal is now 9 to 12 days,” said Wan. “It used to be 3 to 4 days. If we do not move the containers out quicker, we may have vessel congestion.”
A report issued this week that ranked global ports based on demurrage and detention charges levied by container lines on shippers put the Port of Oakland in fourth place, among a group of five US ports with the highest charges in the world. The port is now pressing for yet higher fees.