US sports highest shipping rates as port woes continue

Published on
July 15, 2022
A container ship sailing with the New York City skyline in the background

U.S. exporters and importers are laboring under some of the highest shipping levies in the world, according to new data, while delays at some U.S. ports continue.

U.S. shippers, “which have struggled to cope with two years of record container freight rates,” also face the highest demurrage and detention (D&D) charges imposed by container lines worldwide, online platform Container xChange said in a press release.

U.S. ports occupy the top five spots in Container xChange’s ranking of global port fees. New York City has the highest D&D fees, followed by the ports of Long Beach, California; Los Angeles, California; Oakland, California; and Savannah, Georgia.

“All five ports are more than two to three times more expensive than Hong Kong in seventh spot, and at least 20 times more expensive than leading Asian container hubs such as Dalian in China and Busan in Korea,” Container xChange said.

“We have received hundreds of complaints from shippers,” said U.S. Representative John Garamendi (D-California), who sponsored the initial House version of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, which was signed into law by U.S. President Joe Biden in mid-June.

The legislation shifts the burden of proof regarding the reasonableness of D&D charges from the invoiced party to the ocean carrier; prohibits ocean carriers from unreasonably declining shipping opportunities for U.S. exports; requires ocean common carriers to provide quarterly reports on total import and export tonnage and loaded units per vessel that call ports in the U.S., and other measures.

Meanwhile, the number of import containers sitting at the Port of Long Beach for nine days is up 9 percent versus 28 October, 2021, the first day the port began counting boxes as part of a plan to move them from the terminals,  Freightwaves reported.

The port reported 28,723 containers dwelling nine days or more as of 11 July.

While the Port of Los Angeles shows a decline in long-dwelling containers versus October 24, the decline shrunk to just 9 percent. There were 33,999 import containers dwelling nine-plus days on the port as of 11 July, an increase of 20 percent for the past 12 days.

Even though West Coast port dockworkers’ contract expired 1 July, negotiations continue and cargo will continue moving as normal, CBS News reported.

The contract covered workers at ports from California to Washington state, which handle nearly 40 percent of U.S. imports.

“While there will be no contract extension, cargo will keep moving, and normal operations will continue at the ports until an agreement can be reached,” said a joint statement from the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, per CBS News.  

Photo courtesy of Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock

Contributing Editor



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