We are getting notice that OOCL, as one of several carriers, has filed a Port Congestion surcharge for  all cargo entering or exiting the United States that is impacted by labor related disruptions, including: strikes, lock-outs, work stoppages or slow downs at any U.S. Ports.
Once labor unrest has occurred, this charge shall continue to be assessed until such a time as OOCL provides notice in our tariff that the impact of the labor unrest on our operations and those of any affected port(s) has ended.

The amounts mentioned are:


USD 800 per 20′

USD 1000 per 40′ / 40′ HC


Still, we have problems to picture the practical usage of such a surcharge as normally all bills of lading contain a clause that allows the carrier to discharge containers in another port as close as the ships can get and declare the voyage as being ended if a strike or public unrest occurs. Thereafter the customer would have to “book” a new transport from the emergency port to the real destination and the customer would have to pay for that.


Now, if a surcharge will be applied as per the above announcement, who is to pay that?

The cargo that gets stuck on a ship, where the booking was done without announcment of any surcharge like this, where the freight was already paid and the business is closed?

The consignee on arrival has to pay it like a disbursement?

The cargo that gets booked while the strike is on, but arrives after the strike was finished?


Interesting subject!