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Carriers Backtrack on West Coast Port Congestion Surcharges

(Corianne Egan – JOC)

At least seven carriers have suspended newly announced port congestion surcharges on cargo heading from Asia to the U.S. West Coast, likely resulting from fierce importer pushback and U.S. regulatory scrutiny.

CMA CGM, Evergreen Line, OOCL and U.S. Lines announced the suspension of port congestion surcharges today in customer advisories, and Mediterranean Shipping Co. told that it had done the same. United Arab Shipping Co. and Cosco Container Lines customers told that their respective surcharges were also repealed. The carriers were not available for immediate comment.

Carriers were expected to start collecting the additional fees from customers Monday. The lines suspending their surcharges, which amounted to as much as $1,000 per 40-foot container, did not reveal the reasoning behind the move. But the Nov. 14 announcements drew immediate ire from the FMC, the U.S maritime regulatory agency, and importers. Read more here.