What is demurrage and How you can avoid it ?

Avoiding Demurrage Charges in Shipping: What You Need to Know

Understanding Demurrage in Simple Terms

What is Demurrage?
Demurrage might sound like a fancy term, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. It’s a fee you pay when your containers hang around the port or yard too long after they’ve been unloaded. Think of it as an overdue fee for a library book, except it’s for your cargo and can add up a lot faster.

The Countdown to Demurrage Fees

When Does Demurrage Start Adding Up?
So, how long do you have before you need to start worrying about demurrage fees? Usually, air and rail shipments get from 24 to 48hours free time grace period. Ports give you a bit more wiggle room, typically four to seven days. But here’s the thing – every port’s different, so make sure you’re clued in on their specific rules.

Why Might You Face Demurrage Fees?

Common Reasons You Could Get Hit with Demurrage
Demurrage doesn’t just come out of nowhere. Sometimes it’s because of simple mix-ups, like the consignee (the person getting your goods) not knowing when to pick up the cargo. Or maybe the paperwork wasn’t right, or there was an unexpected hold-up at customs. Even a disagreement between the shipper and consignee can cause delays that lead to demurrage.

Demurrage Costs Can Stack Up

What You Might Pay for Demurrage
The price tag for demurrage can vary a lot, but we’re talking about anything from $150 to $400 per container, per day. Let’s say you’re shipping 10 containers and you’re late by 10 days with a fee of $150 per container, per day. That’s a whopping $15,000 just for demurrage. Ouch.

5 Most Useful Tips to Dodge Demurrage Charges

How Can You Avoid These Fees?
Nobody likes paying extra, right? Here are a few smart moves to help you steer clear of demurrage fees:

  1. Plan Ahead: Book your pickup early to avoid any last-minute scrambles for a trucker.
  2. Have a Plan B: In the shipping world, always have a backup plan, like an extra trucker on speed dial.
  3. Know the Rules: Get the lowdown on port and customs rules where you’re sending your stuff.
  4. Clear Instructions: Make sure everyone involved knows exactly what to do with your cargo.
  5. Apply for More Time: If you’re moving stuff like food or animal products, ask for a few extra free days just in case.

Need a Hand When Shipping From China ? 

If all this talk of fees and paperwork is making your head spin, don’t sweat it. Our experts are here to help you keep your shipping smooth and your costs down. Just give us a shout!


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