Detention and Demurrage costs – should they be part of your RFQ?

Demurrage costs are related to the port or terminal area and are applied when a container is not removed from the area within a certain time period. Detention fees are applicable when a container has left the port area but is not returned to the shipping line in time. 

Those charges could also occur on export side, when a container is at your premises for loading, for example, but not yet returned to the shipping line’s control. Usually, for both detention and demurrage there is a free period applicable, which can vary significantly between ports/ shipping lines etc.  

Expecting the unexpected 

You would hope that your sea freight containers are always picked up and dropped off on time, but often this is dependent on situations beyond your control. For example, what if the forwarding party forgets to tell you the cargo wasn’t picked up on arrival? Or there’s a unforeseen delay that means your container ends up waiting for pick up longer than anticipated? 

In addition, it’s always a good idea to have full visibility in terms of these costs. When tendering you might be sent some really competitive ocean freight rates, but what if the free period at the pick up destination is shorter than what you currently have? You might see your demurrage and detention costs shoot up. 

Don’t get caught out!

When comparing offers this is exactly the type of detail that can make all the difference. But, I know what you’re thinking: “Who has the time to break down every single charge and factor them into a calculation?” Well, TenderEasy lets you ask for those fees, so you can easily drop them into your calculation and compare different providers. And of course you can check the free periods are in line with your product requirements!  

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