Ontario - The city’s legal team vows that hundreds of abandoned shipping containers, illegally stored at four industrial yards in the agricultural southern part of town, will be gone by the end of the year. Restraining orders have been issued on two of the property owners, and discussions with the other two property owners have been constructive, Richard Egger, an attorney representing the city, said. The shipping containers were transported to industrial yards in Ontario in November, shortly after the financial collapse of Hanjin Shipping Co., the world’s seventh-largest ocean courier. Thousands of empty containers -- some owned by the shipper, others leased out to other companies -- began piling up at the space-challenged, busy port complex, but those needed to be unloaded elsewhere to make room for the busy holiday season. Hundreds came to Ontario, but city law forbids their storage in the agricultural southern part of town. City leaders also voiced concern that increased truck traffic related to the containers would plague existing residents and impact home sales in the surrounding Ontario Ranch area.
The city will “take action until (each) property is brought into compliance,” Egger said, adding that fighting the city “can be a costly experience for a property owner, “As the city has taken on this program to resolve these issues, many of the property owners have been quick to respond in a constructive way, and we would hope those who have not responded in a constructive way, have taken notice of the fact that it is a more efficient and less expensive way for property owners, as well as the city, if they act cooperatively.”