Carriers are flip flopping again on port congestion surcharges for containers entering West Coast ports. Over the course of the last two weeks, carriers announced surcharges and then suspended them.
Starting Nov. 26, MSC will charge a west coast port surcharge of $800 per 20-foot container, $1,000 per standard 40-footer and $1,125 per 40-foot, high-cube, according to a customer notice. Hanjin Shipping, Hyundai Merchant Marine, NYK Line and Zim Integrated Shipping Services also announced surcharges. All lines cite slowdowns or labor difficulties as the reason as they try to recoup additional costs.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union denies it’s engaging in slowdowns and blames the gridlock on ocean carriers no longer providing chassis to customers and increasingly larger ships overwhelming marine terminals.
The ILWU and Pacific Maritime have been operating without a labor contract since July 1.