What These Additional Charges Mean For You

What Are Demurrage and Detention Fees

When importing:

  • Demurrage charges occur when cargo is left in possession of the terminal for longer than the agreed-upon free time. Simply put, these charges start to tack on to your final cost if you do not pick up your container in time.
  • When import containers have been pulled off the terminal or port and are not returned empty to the designated terminal within the predetermined amount of free time, then you will be subject to detention fees.

When exporting:

  • When shipping out cargo, you must provide the necessary, accurate shipping documents. If something holds up your goods at the export terminal, you may be subject to demurrage fees
  • Similar to import demurrage costs, detention fees are applied to outgoing shipments when a customer fails to drop off their container at the steamship line or shipping port within the allocated free time frame.
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How To Avoid Additional Costs

Now and then unavoidable incidents occur, causing bumps in the road and delays in scheduling. While unfortunate, it does happen to everyone. But if you find yourself having to allocate additional funds for demurrage or detention fees, you might need to sit down and figure out why.

Below are some tips to help you minimize the occurrence of these charges:

  • Plan ahead – and then, make a backup plan! The best way to avoid setbacks or being late with pick-ups or drop-offs is to plan the entire shipment carefully. Take the time to make sure you cover all the bases – and then double-check!
  • Have an alternate trucking backup plan.
  • On import cargo, if possible pre-clear your shipment. This will reduce the time the cargo will remain at the import terminal due to customs formalities.
  • Communication with the destination location is key to make sure unloading of the cargo is done within the allowed free time.
  • If you will be importing or exporting goods during a busy season or using a high-volume port, allow yourself extra time and schedule your shipments well in advance to ensure you get an appointment within your allowed free time.

At Promptus LLC, we take care of these headaches for you. With our freight forwarding and Customs Brokerage services, we can take care of the complicated parts and help reduce the likelihood of demurrage and detention costs. Contact us today at 305-687-1405 to get your quote for our freight forwarding services!