US Demurrage and Detention

Demurrage is a charge payable for equipment remaining on the Carrier’s terminal longer than the free time allowed. When equipment is incurring demurrage, the equipment is in the Carrier’s possession.


Detention is a charge payable for equipment held longer than the free time allowed, outside of Carrier’s terminal and in the possession of the Shipper.  When equipment is incurring detention, the equipment is not in the Carrier’s possession.

Demurrage & Detention Free Time by Port

The below table provides the standard Free Time allowed at each United States port. Please select whether the shipment is an Export or an Import then select the Port of Import or Export to view the Free Time allowed at the specific US location.

Port Storage

Port Storage [also known as terminal storage, port demurrage or demurrage] is a charge payable for the use of the space on the terminal beyond an agreed period. These charges are not covered under the Use of Carrier’s Equipment in US rule.

Demurrage & Detention Charges

While free time is based on business days, once free time expires, charges are applied per calendar day.

Charges for detention following the expiration of free time continue until the equipment is returned to the original pick-up location unless otherwise agreed, in writing, by Seaboard Marine. Please also see Equipment Pick-up for all Carrier Haulage services designated as a Drop & Pick.

Charges for demurrage following the expiration of free time continue until the equipment is interchanged from the terminal in the case of imports, and until the equipment departs on a vessel in the case of exports. Export demurrage calculations are suspended when Carrier delays vessel departure beyond the date confirmed in the booking confirmation, and in the case of vessels departing on Saturdays and Sundays, that first Saturday and Sunday are not counted.

Equipment Charge
Dry Container $110.00 per day or fraction thereof
Dry Container with Chassis $135.00 per day or fraction thereof
Refrigerated (Temperature Controlled) Container $250.00 per day or fraction thereof
Refrigerated (Temperature Controlled) Container with Chassis $275.00 per day or fraction thereof
Flatrack, Open Top or Tank Equipment $250.00 per day or fraction thereof
Flatrack, Open Top or Tank Equipment with Chassis $275.00 per day or fraction thereof
Bare Chassis $25.00 per day or fraction thereof
Lowboy or Other Specialized Trailer $250.00 per day or fraction thereof
Power Unit i.e. Clip On Power Unit or Gen-set Power Unit Included within the refrigerated container charge if provided

Clip-on gensets used for Merchant Haulage will be levied an additional charge of $470 for the first day of clip-on use, and $250 per day for each additional day until the clip-on is returned to Carrier.

10 Practices to Minimize or Avoid Detention and Demurrage Charges

  1. Always have up-to-date contact details available with relevant names, email addresses, and phone numbers of all parties involved in the shipment. MySeaboard, our self-service customer portal, is an easy place to register this information and is found at MySeaboard.
  2. Ensure regular communication between the shipper and consignee with all terms of sale fully settled before the booking is made.
  3. Have all documentation completed accurately and submitted early.
  4. Ensure all parties are informed of the departing and/or arriving shipment.
  5. Be well prepared for local Customs requirements. When possible, pre-clear your cargo. Ensure that your Customs Broker provides required documentation to governmental authorities in advance and obtains release within the free time.
  6. Ensure that you have made payment and obtained Carrier Release within the free time.
  7. Issue pickup or delivery instructions as early as possible and ensure all stakeholders have this information.
  8. Build space into your schedule.
  9. Have sufficient storage space in a warehouse or other location arranged in advance so that you can quickly destuff and return the equipment within the free time.
  10. If Carrier has arranged the inland based on Drop & Pick terms, ensure you have registered the availability of the equipment for pick-up before the last free day. Keep proof of the registration. You can request equipment pick-up using our online tool:

Demurrage & Detention Disputes

Demurrage and Detention disputes for U.S. shipments can be raised through our website.

When registering a dispute, the following information is required:

    • Booking or Bill of Lading number
    • Demurrage or Detention invoice number(s), if the charges are not part of the Bill of Lading charges.
    • Container number(s)
    • Detailed description of the dispute including the applicable service contract number if pertinent to the claim.
    • Point of contact for further discussion regarding the dispute including telephone number and e-mail address.
    • For disputes involving a change of paying party, written confirmation from the party who will pay is needed.

Disputes must be submitted to Seaboard Marine within thirty (30) days of the invoice date. We will acknowledge receipt of your dispute within five (5) business days of receipt.  If all of the required information is provided we will provide a resolution of our findings within sixty (30) days from the date of receipt of the complete information.