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Port Houston to combat congestion with updated Sustained Dwell Fee

The Sustained Dwell Fee is being reinstated at Port Houston as initial software issues are resolved.

Following news that the ports of LA and Long Beach will phase out dwell fees, Port Houston has stated that it is ready to implement its own container dwell fees from 1st February as rising congestion hits the Gulf Coast port.

The Sustained Dwell Fee, initially announced in October and scheduled to come into play in December 2022, saw delays due to software issues which are now said to have been resolved by the port's external software developer.

From the 1st February 2023 containers that have dwelled at the terminal for eight days or more will incur a penalty fee of $45 per day. This will see dwelling containers at the Bayport and Barbours Cut terminals accrue fees following the expiration of the 7 permitted days of free time, as per Port Houston's Tariff No. 15 Subrule 095 and Tariff No. 14 Subrule 093. Containers will then be held until all fees are accounted for by the responsible cargo owner.

According to Port Houston's official figures, container import and export volumes grew by 19% year on year in 2022 when compared to 2021, with the surcharge and digital software acting as an additional tool to optimise terminal space and equipment availability in order to combat congestion.

Executive Director at Port Houston, Roger Guenther, stated that although the increased volume at the port is "extremely favourable", steps must also be taken to ensure goods are kept moving to those in the region that need them.

In addition to the Sustained Dwell Fee, Port Houston has also approved an Excessive Import Dwell Fee which, if enacted, would go into effect following 30 days of public notice and continue for a minimum of 60 days.

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