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Port Houston Import Dwell Fee to now go into effect from Feb 1

A Sustained Import Dwell Fee will go into effect at Port Houston on February 1, 2023, to help maintain fluidity at the Bayport and Barbours Cut Container Terminals and address long-term dwell, according to the company’s release.

The $45 fee will be charged per unit per day starting on the eighth day after the expiration of free time, as defined in Tariff No. 15 Subrule 095 and Tariff No. 14 Subrule 093.

This fee is in addition to the demurrage charges for loaded import containers provided for in those subrules and does not replace those charges. Containers will be on hold until all terminal fees are reconciled; payment of such fees will be the responsibility of the cargo owner.

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This past October, the Port Commission approved the new dwell fee structure to help reduce the amount of time containers sit on terminal.

After making the necessary software upgrades, the Sustained Import Dwell Fee will now go into effect beginning February 1.

An Excessive Import Dwell Fee was also approved in October, which can be implemented by Port Houston’s Executive Director as needed. If implemented, it will take effect following thirty days’ public notice and remain in effect for at least sixty days. It is not being implemented at this time.

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The new measure comes after Port Houston evaluated several options to improve cargo movement, including reviewing practices implemented by other U.S. ports to improve cargo fluidity. Executive Director Roger Guenther said Port Houston has yet to experience any softening in import loads, and emphasized that the fee was in the best interests and for the benefit of all supply chain stakeholders to minimize container dwell time in order to maintain efficient operations.

Port Houston is also considering increasing the fee, at the discretion of the Executive Director, to further encourage container movement. This will take effect following thirty days public notice and remain in effect for at least sixty days.

The “Excessive Import Dwell Fee” will charge $50 per unit per day for 1-3 days after free time, $75 per unit per day for 4-7 after, $100 per unit per day for 8-13 days after, and $150 per unit per day for 14 or more days after free time.

The Sustained Import Dwell Fees will not continue to accrue during the period that the Excessive Import Dwell Fee is in effect.

The Southern California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have considered a similar long-dwelling container fee, however its implementation has been postponed for more than a year amid improvements i

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