Port Congestion Surcharges Coming to U.S. West Coast

November 14, 2014
By Michelle Kelley


Prompted by recent labor slowdowns at U.S. West Coast ports, which have forced many inbound container vessels to anchor while waiting to berth at the pier for unloading, several ocean carriers have announced a port congestion surcharge for cargo arriving at West Coast ports on or after November 17, 2014.

Port Congestion Surcharge Amounts
Equip. USD
LCL cbm $20
20′ Std $800
40′ Std $1000
40′ HC $1266
45′ Std $1600

Many industry groups are already protesting the legality of the surcharge with the Federal Maritime Commission. If implemented on November 17, the surcharge would remain in effect until further notice. Carriers first announced the surcharge in their tariff back in 2012, in anticipation of looming port congestion due to labor issues on the East Coast.

For a recap of the congestion problems plaguing West Coast ports, see our previous client alert.

Implementation of Port Congestion Charge (PCS) (Hanjin Shipping)
Congestion at ports rattles growers, importers and truckers (The Seattle Times)
West Coast port slowdown raises fears of dockworker strike or lockout (LA Times)