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Houston Port announced two Dwell Fees, effective from December

Houston Port announced two Dwell Fees, effective from December 




The Port Authority of Houston's Port Commission has approved two new fees on stranded containers in an effort to clear a backlog of imports at the port's two terminals, as the number of containers arriving at the port surges.


"The holdup time for imported cargo containers recently peaked at 10 days," Chief Port Operations Officer Jeff Davis said at an Oct. 27 Port Authority committee meeting. It points out that when too many containers are imported, it affects the efficiency and capacity of port yards, roads and to serve ships. Roger Guenther, executive director of the Port of Houston, said staff had evaluated several options to improve the flow of cargo through the Port of Houston, including reviewing programs implemented by other U.S. ports to improve the flow of cargo. The staff concluded that further incentives for beneficial shippers or third parties receiving fees on their behalf to move containers out of terminals and reduce the length of stay were justified.


The port committee decided to implement the Sustained Import Dwell Fee from December 1, 2022, and also approved the Excessive Import Dwell Fee. Both charges are in addition to demurrage charges. Both fees apply to the Barbours Cut and Bayport container terminals at the Port of Houston and require that these fees be paid before a container can be picked up. Both charges are charged to owner of cargo.


The "Sustained Import Dwell Fee" is $45 per container per day for imported containers held at the port for 8 days or more.


"Excessive Import Dwell Fee" will be charged at the discretion of the Executive Director of the Port of Houston for containers held for longer periods of time. The fee will take effect 30 days after the notice is sent and remain in effect for at least 60 days.


The charging standard as following:

For 1-3 days after the free period, each container will be charged $50 per day;

Stay for 4-7 days after free period, charge $75 per container per day

After the free period for 8-13 days, each container will be charged $100 per day;

For 14 days or more after the free period, the charge is $150 per container per day.


Sustained Import Dwell Fees will not continue to accrue during the period when Excessive Import Dwell Fees are in effect. The Port of Houston says the new fee is intended to help ease the problem of imported containers being held at the port for long periods of time by incentivizing the flow of goods.


As ships continue to look for alternative ports to avoid a backlog at eastern U.S. ports and potential labor disruptions at western U.S. ports where contract negotiations are ongoing. Throughput at the port of Houston rose 26 per cent year on year to 354,000 TEUs in September, with cargo import containers up 31 per cent year on year.


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