Demurrage and detention

In this context, charges made in respect of delays:

  • in movements of containers within a terminal, either onto a vessel at the port of loading or out of the terminal at the port of arrival (demurrage)
  • in return of empty containers once they have left the terminal (detention)

Charges are made once the number of permitted free days have elapsed.

All ports, terminals and other logistical facilities depend for their efficient operation on goods being unloaded and then collected in a timely manner.

Providers of containers – usually shipping lines – need to keep these expensive assets circulating rapidly.

These charges act as a strong incentive to comply with agreed schedules. Conversely when delays give rise to charges, there can be disputes as to who is responsible for paying them.

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