Shippers are bracing themselves for the implementation of the congestion surcharges for full container loads.

Overseas ocean freight containers


Although, there is a rebuttal starting with the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) doubting the legality of carriers imposing on the west coast congestion surcharge of $ 800.00/ TEU (1×20′ ocean container) & $1,000 per FEU (40′ ocean container) on cargo that are still at sea.

Less Than A Container Load (LCL)

Shipments with surcharges as follow:

  • All North American origin export
         shipments loaded

              via USWC ports : 

    • $8 w/m: $8 minimum
  • All Global origins destined to North
         America and

              shipped via USWC ports :

    • $20 w/m:$20 minimum 

The Port Congestion Surcharge is effective on all export shipments having a sailing date on or after November 17, 2014 and for all import shipments having an arrival date on or after November 17, 2014. This surcharge will remain in effect until advised otherwise.

Dart Maritime the Tarriff Publisher has this to say:

The Federal Maritime Commission is receiving numerous inquiries regarding the congestion surcharges for “labor unrest” being implemented by ocean carriers as announced in tariff rules required to be published under the Shipping Act of 1984 and the Commission’s regulations at 46 CFR Part 520.

Unless done pursuant to a waiver or exemption, any tariff rule (including surcharges) of a common carrier that results in an increased cost to a shipper may not be effective earlier than 30 days after publication. 46 U.S.C. § 40501(e) and 46 CFR § 520.8. Many carriers previously published in their tariffs advance or conditional notice of an intention to implement surcharges
in the event certain conditions are experienced. All such carrier tariff rules, however, must be clear and definite as to the implementation and termination of the surcharge based upon specific criteria related to “labor unrest.”

The Shipping Act and the Commission’s regulations require that the rules applicable to any given shipment shall be those in effect on the date the cargo is received by the common carrier or its agent. 46 CFR § 520.7. Thus, if any labor disruption were to occur at a port after cargo has been tendered by a shipper, a carrier may only lawfully charge the rates in effect on the day the cargo is tendered.

The Commission continues to review congestion surcharge rules published in carrier tariffs and is gathering information from carriers regarding implementation of these surcharges.

If you have questions or concerns about a tariff publication, please contact the Bureau of Trade Analysis at For questions about the Shipping Act or the Federal Maritime Commission’s regulations, please contact the Office of the General Counsel at FMC Response to Port Congestion Surcharges –
End of quote.

To our shippers:

When choosing ETC International Freight System for your full container load shipment (FCL) throught the LA/Long Beach ports, we recommend to check with us regarding the effectiveness of the congestion surcharge & before a booking is made to consider having us priced a rail move to Oakland port.

On the air freight front, ETC International Freight System is observing a reduced fuel surcharge with some carriers. we stay on alert & will double check the status once a booking is made with us. We are IATA licensed, having rate agreements with all major airlines in North America & coupled with similar agreements signed by our overseas associates, enhancing our competitive edge. Whether choosing our most economical service via our scheduled weekly consolidations, direct daily service for your most urgent orders, or, a door to door service exclusively handled through our network of established freight agencies, ETC Intl Freight System has your suited service ready for takeoff.

Enhance partnership with our customers with tracking of your shipments with the airlines around the world & proof of delivery (POD) from our overseas agents. ETC Intl. Freight System’s consolidated rates are designed especially to keep prices aggressively low. ETC Intl. Freight System’s interactive web-based tracking system gives you the added confidence of knowing the precise location of your cargo

Do you need a freight rate, if so we welcome you to click on the button below:

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