Effective December 1, Port Houston will implement a “sustained import dwell fee” to incentivise cargo movement at the Barbours Cut Terminal and Bayport Container Terminal.
Long-dwelling loaded import containers have been contributing to congestion at the terminals and a shortage of chassis.
The fee will be assessed directly to BCOs on the eighth day after the expiration of free time.
The Port Commission also authorised, at a meeting on October 27, the use of an “excessive import dwell fee,” should it be needed. The port’s press release did not provide details related to fee amounts.
Executive Director Roger Guenther reported at that meeting that Port Houston has yet to experience any softening in import loads.
He highlighted September as the port’s second-highest month in container cargo volumes, only slightly behind August.
He emphasised that, to maintain efficient operations amid this growth, container dwell time at the terminals must be minimised.
During the same meeting, the Port Commission approved an investment of more than $52m in infrastructure, including providing the US Army Corps of Engineers up to $42m to widen and deepen the Houston Ship Channel.
It also approved a $7m contract to Rigid Constructors, LLC, to construct a 12-acre interim container-storage facility expansion to redevelop the west end of Barbours Cut terminal.