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Port of Oakland cuts free dwell time for import containers

Growing congestion problems have prompted the Port of Oakland to take action, slashing free dwell time, as demurrage fees are discussed between terminals and shipping lines

From Friday, 1st July the Port of Oakland will be reducing the free dwell time for containers from seven days down to four in an attempt to combat the congestion problems across the port’s terminals. In addition, the port has proposed penalties for containers that sit on quay for too long.

Beyond tariff-free dwell time, the Port of Oakland believes that an increase in demurrage fees would incentivise owners to move cargo quicker, however, the shipping lines and marine terminals hold jurisdiction over these fees and not the port itself.

With the current dwell time now sitting between 9-12 days, three times above average, the Port of Oakland is also looking for support from rail operators as 60% of ageing cargo is designated rail freight. The delays caused by rail movements aren’t confined to just Oakland, it is an issue faced by much America's West Coast including the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Although rail operators, such as Union Pacific, are increasing services to aid the movement of ageing cargo, congestion is also growing at its inland facilities as a result of low warehousing capacity and a shortage of available equipment.


We will continue to do all we can to minimise any delays or costs associated with these circumstances and should you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact your local Woodland representative or contact us here.

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