Maersk slashes import container dwell days at key US ports

Drone shot of a massive container ship arriving in the Port of Long Beach, California.

Maersk has cut import container dwell time by five days at two major US cargo hubs in a bid to clear boxes from terminals.

The Danish carrier will reduce import container dwell time from 14 days to 9 at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the choked-up Newark/Elizabeth gateways at the Port of New York New Jersey.

From 8 August the firm will begin transferring containers dwelling for nine or more days that are customs cleared and have no appointment confirmed for pickup at the terminals.

Maersk may also include containers with confirmed delivery appointments in situations where the appointments have been routinely missed or cancelled.

“Unfortunately, persistent congestion continues to impact operations in our key Los Angeles/Long Beach and Newark/Elizabeth gateways,” Maersk wrote in its 2 August announcement.

“However, average dwell times remain excessive across the United States, so we feel it’s important to do more to free up capacity and improve productivity in our marine terminals so we can provide a more reliable service to you.”

READ: Maersk rides market headwinds, delivers record near $22 billion in Q2 2022

Containers trucked to Maersk designated off-dock locations in the Pacific Southwest and New Jersey can only be made available on a “Last-In-First-Out” (LIFO) basis. Consequently Maersk asks shippers to take delivery of most urgent loads within the first seven-days after discharge to avoid potential delays in a ‘peel off’ stack.

Maersk also called on shippers to pre-clear the cargo before vessel arrival, noting that a key cause behind dwell times on the terminal is containers without customs clearance.

Earlier this week the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) announced it will implement a new quarterly container imbalance fee for ocean carriers as part of the seaport’s effort to reduce congestion.

May 2022 was a historic month at the Port of New York and New Jersey as it became the second busiest month of cargo activity in port history.

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