- Zim in December added an incentive to speed the flow of loaded containers at West Basin Container Terminal in Port of Los Angeles, according to a web advisory.
- The ocean carrier is offering to pay truckers up to $200 for each dry-van or laden container picked up within four days after it is discharged from the ship.
- The program, which has been in effect since December 13, is part of a series of actions meant to "ease supply chain issues and improve service levels," Avner Shats, a spokesperson for Zim, said in an email.
As congestion prevails at the Port of Los Angeles, stakeholders are trying to incentivize cargo flow however they can, be it with carrots, sticks, or out-of-the-box thinking.
CMA CGM set a precedent for offering container pickup incentives in early December. The ocean carrier is offering truckers $100 for daytime moves, and $200 for night and weekend moves at all container terminals. Combined, the two programs are carrots for truckers who may not otherwise have picked up a CMA CGM or Zim box.
But talk to truckers and they'll say the problem behind slow moving goods is not an unwillingness to pick up cargo: It's an inability to do so. Drayage companies looking to pickup goods need to be able to secure both a chassis and a terminal appointment to move a container — and both can be hard to secure.
In a November earnings call, Zim CFO Xavier Destriau recognized ocean carriers had a stake in easing congestion.
Destriau said "nobody has any interest in incurring cost and then passing the cost to customers," referencing the threat of a port-imposed dwell fee on loaded containers. To speed flow, the CFO said Zim had "made sure that we repositioned the containers full to places where customers could come and pick up the cargo."
Zim advertised one such solution at the same time as its new incentive program. In order to lure truckers to West Basin Container Terminal, the ocean carrier noted it had created a "dedicated interchange lane" at the terminal so truckers could "make pick up appointments at the pedestal for ZIM Expedited Cargoes (i.e. no pre-made appointment for pick-up is required)."
"What is overly important for us, again, is to all work together to try to make sure that the customers get the cargo, that we get our customers back, that the ports can work and continue to work efficiently," said Destriau.
Alejandra Salgado contributed to this story.