Port of Long Beach extends cap on dockage fees

ILWU leader makes pitch for more training and 24-hour operations at the congested California port.

Excerpt from American Shipper | By: Chris Dupin | March 25, 2015

The Port of Long Beach will continue to cap the amount of dockage fees paid by ocean carriers due to lingering congestion at the California port.

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winner red paper shipPort commissioners voted on Monday to extend a four-day cap on the amount of dockage shipowners will have to pay until June 30.

A memo explaining the need for the extension of financial relief noted, “Historically, a container vessel would dock for an average of 3.5 to four days; however, the same vessel may now dock up to seven days due to the current congestion situation.” The extension has been in effect since Dec. 1, but would have expired at the end of March if not for the commission’s action.

Long Beach estimates it waived $1.32 million in dockage between December 2014 and February, but said, “This dollar amount should decrease over the next three months as the port continues to work on clearing its current backlog and port operations begin to normalize.”

At a commission meeting, Bobby Olvera, Jr., the president of Local 13 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, pledged the union’s cooperation.

He also renewed a pitch for more trained longshoremen and 24-hour operations though. “It has been over seven years since we hired, and we have lost close to 1,000 workers in the last seven years and we are trying to hire more and train more so we can be at the top of our game. Our crane training programs are ancient. The crane training program we have is ancient,” Olvera said, noting it is the same training program his father would have qualified for 35 years ago.

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