NY/NJ port to implement imbalance fee of $100/container
Carriers urged to clear long-dwelling empty containers as peak season approaches
The Port of New York and New Jersey will implement a new quarterly container imbalance fee for ocean carriers to aggressively move to handle record cargo volumes, according to an announcement by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
"The container imbalance fee will be assessed on ocean carriers who do not evacuate empty containers that take up sorely needed space for arriving imports and impede overall port productivity and fluidity. Under this new container management fee, which will be assessed on a quarterly basis, ocean carriers' total outgoing container volume must equal or exceed 110 percent of their incoming container volume during the same period or they will be assessed a fee of $100 per container for failing to hit this benchmark. Incoming and outgoing containers include both loaded and empty containers, excluding rail volume."
The container management fee, targeting excess empty containers being stored in the port for long periods, will be effective as of September 1, 2022, the statement added.
The fee will reduce the number of excess empty containers dwelling at the port and free up much-needed capacity for containers that are full of imports and ready to be picked up by cargo owners, the statement said. "The seaport has been handling a cargo increase of nearly 12 percent year-to-date compared to the same period last year and an astounding rise of 34 percent in cargo volume compared to the same period during pre-pandemic 2019."
Kevin O'Toole, Chairman, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, says: "We rely heavily on our port partners as the downstream links in a vast global supply chain that needs full cooperation in order for international commerce to function and deliver the essential goods that the region's residents need. As we continue to manage record cargo volume and work with our tenants and port stakeholders for the removal of empty containers in a timely manner, we call on all industry stakeholders to find sustainable, long-term solutions to an industrywide problem affecting many U.S. ports."
The fee proceeds will be used to offset the costs of providing additional storage capacity, and other expenses incurred by the glut of empty containers, the statement said.
The Port of New York and New Jersey moved 859,953 TEUs in June 2022, surpassing May 2022 as the second-busiest month of cargo activity ever at the port. The June 2022 cargo volume increased by 40.7 percent compared to June 2019 and was up 1.7 percent compared to May 2022 when the seaport handled 845,305 TEUs.
On the West Coast, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have postponed implementing the "Container Dwell Fee" till August 26. "Since the programme was announced on October 25, 2021, the two ports have seen a combined decline of 26 percent in ageing cargo on the docks."
The ports plan to charge ocean carriers $100 per container, increasing in $100 increments per container per day until the container leaves the terminal.