By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Ports of LA and Long Beach will delay their plan to fine shipping companies for idling containers after seeing “noticeable progress in reduction” following the announcement of the fines.

(credit: Port Of LA/Long Beach)

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A fine schedule aimed at moving idle shipping containers was announced on Oct. 25. Since then, officials say both ports have seen a 26% decline in aging cargo on the docks.

“There’s been significant improvement in clearing import containers from our docks in recent weeks,” Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, said in a statement.

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The plan would have levied a $100 fine for every shipping container that sat idle for more than nine days. After those nine days, fees would have gone up by $100 per day. Containers moving by rail would have also drawn a fee if they sat idle for more than six days.

Before the import surge brought on by the pandemic, containers for local delivery sat for less than four days, while train-transported containers were idle for less than two days. Outbreaks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a historic disruption of the global shipping chain, leading to shortages from everything from big rig drivers, to computer chips needed for new cars, to food and consumer goods headed to the U.S. for the holiday shopping season.

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The shipping container fines will now go into effect on Nov. 22.