LOS ANGELES — Union Pacific is launching an incentive program as part of the effort to address supply chain congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, offering a $60 refund on container fees on weekends for containers in-gated to its Intermodal Container Transfer Facility in Long Beach, Calif.
The monetary carrot from the railroad comes as the two ports announce they will wield a financial stick, assessing fees on ocean carriers for import containers that dwell at marine terminals.
Union Pacific announced Monday that the pilot program will run through Dec. 31 and will apply to containers incremental to each customer’s current weekend average.
BNSF Railway announced Monday it is extending a similar program at two LA-area facility through the end of the year [see “BNSF to extend container incentive program …,” Trains News Wire, Oct. 25, 2021].
UP recently added 20 weekend hours to gain access at the Long Beach intermodal facility to support the recent move of the LA and Long Beach ports to 24/7 operations.
Meanwhile, the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will begin assessing penalties of $100 per container for containers that dwell three or more days (for those to be moved by rail) or nine days or more (for those to be moved by truck),with the fee escalating by $100 per container per day.
“We must expedite the movement of cargo through the ports to work down the number of ships at anchor,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a press release. “Approximately 40% of the containers on our terminals today fall into the two categories. If we can clear this idling cargo, we’ll have much more space on our terminals to accept empties, handle exports, and improve fluidity for the wide range of cargo owners who utilize our ports.”
The two ports, the nation’s largest container ports, have seen dwell increase dramatically from pre-pandemic level, when containers for local delivery averaged less than four days at terminals, while those destined for trains averaged less than two days.