Import detention charges will be imposed from 1 December


Record container volume! Import detention charges will be imposed from 1 December

The detention fee will come into effect on December 1.

Located on the northwest shore of Galveston in the Gulf of Mexico, the Port of Houston is the largest city in Texas, the second largest energy and commercial port in the United States and the sixth largest in the world. The Port of Houston has more than 7,000 merchant ships a year.

Recently, the Port of Houston Authority's Port Commission authorized amendments to Tariff No. 14 and Tariff No. 15 to cover two box terminals, Barbours Cut Terminal and Bayport Container Terminal.

The Port Commission decided to impose an ongoing import detention fee and also authorized an optional excess import detention fee.

The Port of Houston says the new fee structure is designed to help ease the problem of long-stranded imported containers by incentivizing the flow of cargo, as the port has seen record volumes of containers in recent months.

In August, the Port of Houston handled 382,842 TEUs, up 20% from the same month last year, continuing to break records for container handling and making it the busiest month in the port's history. Container throughput at the Port of Houston rose 26 per cent in September from a year earlier to 353,525 TEUs.
It was the second-highest month ever for container traffic at the Port of Houston, behind August 2022. Overall, container throughput at the Port of Houston's container terminals was up 18% year-over-year to nearly 3 million TEUs.

The port said maintaining efficient handling at Bayport and Barbours Cut terminals and dwell terminals was a new challenge as it prepared for the high season with increasing volumes of containers. On average, the length of stay of imported vessels has doubled, now to six days, compared with just two or three days during the past off-season.

It is reported that the cost will be directly assessed to the beneficiary shipper (BCO) on the eighth day after the expiration of the idle time.

Port executive director Roger Guenther said staff had evaluated several options for improving cargo movement at the Port of Houston and concluded that "it makes sense to further incentivize BCO or a third party accepting fees on its behalf to remove containers from the terminal and reduce stay times."

At the Committee meeting of 27 October, amendments to Tariffs No. 14 and No. 15 regarding the start time of free time for export warehousing, import warehousing and rail warehousing were also approved.

The Port Commission also approved more than $52 million in infrastructure investments, including up to $42 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to support the design and construction of the Houston Ship Channel Expansion Project 11 for fiscal year 2023.

It also approved a $7 million contract with Rigid Constructors, LLC to build a 48,560 sq m temporary container storage facility expansion project to redevelop the west end of the Barbours Cut terminal.

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