According to a report from the Journal of Commerce, the boycott of Port of Miami Terminal Operating Co. (POMTOC) began late last week by independent owner-operators who said they were fed up with delays that in recent months have stretched as long as several hours. Drayage operators said that although several terminals at Miami and Port Everglades have had delays in recent months, drivers chose to boycott POMTOC because turn times had been the longest there.
Pepe Alvarez, dispatcher at First Coast Logistics’ Miami office, confirmed that turn times of three hours had been common, and in extreme cases have been as long as eight hours. His company has had to pull a container out of the port, store it overnight, and deliver it to the customer the next day.
“That means we have to take two days for a single move,” he told JOC and later confirmed to American Shipper. "But right now, there are no delays because nobody is going it."
POMTOC officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday or Thursday, and the cause of the delays is unclear. However, it is possible the hurricanes from September and October may have started the cycle of delays and slow turn times. Miami has endured periodic flare ups of congestion in recent years. The port had a backlog of cargo after Hurricane Irma in early September and since been experiencing changing ship schedules.
Most importantly for drayage companies, however, is that the Miami delays are generating demurrage charges for late pickup of cargo and detention charges for late return of equipment, said JOC. Motor carriers often must pay demurrage in order to get a container released by the terminal, and then receive reimbursement from the beneficial cargo owner (BCO).
“This month alone, I think I rang up about $10,000 in demurrage charges,” Alvarez said.
Correction: A previous version of the headline for this story indicated that trucking companies were boycotting PortMiami. South Florida Container Terminal (SFCT) and Seaboard Marine's Port Miami terminal were not affected by the boycott.