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Port of New York and New Jersey sets new container imbalance fee to minimise congestion

08/08/2022 10:35 AM
The Port of New York and New Jersey will implement a new quarterly container imbalance fee for ocean carriers as part of the seaport's effort to handle record cargo volumes caused by the peak cargo season and cargo shifting from the West Coast.

The container handling fee, which targets excess empty containers stored at the port for long periods, will take effect September 1, pending a federally mandated 30-day notice period.

The fee is intended to reduce the number of over-empty containers at the port, freeing up much-needed capacity for containers that are full of imports and ready to be picked up by cargo owners.

It should be noted that the seaport is handling a cargo increase of almost 12% year-to-date compared to the same period last year and a 34% increase in cargo volume compared to the same period in the period before the start of the pandemic.

“Our seaport has largely managed to avoid many of the national supply chain challenges affecting other U.S. ports due to our continued collaboration and communication with port partners and stakeholders. This new proactive container management approach is an example of our Port Department’s ability to identify and implement solutions before they cause logjams in our region,” said Port Authority executive director Rick Cotton.

“We must use every tool in our toolbox to ensure that the flow of goods and business will continue as it has done throughout the pandemic thanks to the hard work of our waterfront labor and our partners,” he added.

The container imbalance fee will be assessed on carriers that do not unload empty containers that take up much-needed space for arriving imports and impede overall port productivity and liquidity.

More specifically, carriers' total outbound container volume must equal or exceed 110% of their inbound container volume during the same period, or they will be assessed a fee of US$100 per container. Inbound and outbound containers include both loaded and empty containers, excluding rail volume.

In addition to the fee, the Port Authority has taken other steps to manage empty containers, including repurposing 12 acres within Port Newark and the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal.

Source: Container News

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