Port of Long Beach waives cargo container fees affected by strike

| Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Shippers and receivers affected by the recent labor stoppage at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach may catch a financial break.

The Port of Long Beach says it will waive its portion of cargo fees caused “or impacted” by the forced closure of many shipping terminals.

“Ports assess fees on cargo containers that linger on its terminals beyond a certain grace period,” the port said in a news release. “Importers, exporters or their agents should contact service providers such as ocean carriers or terminal operators for more details on cargo fees.”

From late November and into this past week, an estimated 7,000 clerical workers at the ports stopped working and demanded contract negotiations. Represented by the International Longshore and warehouse Union Local 63, the workers set up picket lines outside most terminals.

Christopher Lytle, executive director at the Port of Long Beach, said in the news release that port leaders are relieved that the port has been able to open to full capacity.

“Hundreds of thousands of jobs are dependent on our local ports, so the work now begins to clear the backlog and to get our economic engine humming again,” Lytle said, according to the release.

The port disruption prompted the world’s largest retail trade association, the National Retail Federation, to twice call for President Obama to intervene.

At one point during the labor standoff, the strike had resulted in only one of Los Angeles’ eight port terminals remaining open.

The two ports bring in an estimated 40 percent of U.S. imports.

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