LA, Long Beach Ports Delay Fines for Backlogged Cargo

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex will delay fining shipping companies that let cargo containers stack up at terminals.

The reprieve comes because of early compliance by companies in clearing cargo since the penalties were approved last month, the Southern California News Group reported.

The fines were set to begin Monday as a way to help alleviate a backlog of ships that has interrupted the global supply chain. Now they won't be charged until at least Nov. 22.

The logjam prompted the Biden administration to allow the port complex to operate 24 hours a day to try to get goods unloaded and out to consumers as the Black Friday and Christmas holiday season approaches.

"We're encouraged by the progress our supply chain partners have made in helping our terminals shed long-dwelling import containers," Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said.

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said there had been "significant improvement" in clearing out containers over the past weeks.

For now, the ports will monitor the docks to see how much improvement they can get without having to levy the fines.

Since the fines were announced on Oct. 25, the twin ports have seen a 26% decline in old cargo on the docks. the ports said.