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Detention, Demurrage, Per Diem and Storage Accessorials Defined

June 7, 2019 Rick LaGore

Accessorial Fees

Nothing frustates a freight depatment more than accessorial charges that come in after the load has been delivered.

In this article we walk through the most common accessorial charges intermodal shippers find themselves dealing with on a fairly consistent basis.  Learn the definitions of each, so you can put yourself in a position to eliminate them or reduce them at your company.

Definition of Detention, Demurrave, Per Diem, and Storage

  • Detention

    • A charge made at the time of loading or unloading a trailer/container because the driver is being held beyond their allotted free time.

    • Typically, there are 2 hours free time before detention charges begin.

    • Detention is billed on an hourly basis and is a negotiable charge at time of contract, but not at time of invoicing.

  • Demurrage

    • Demurrage is a charge assessed when cargo is left at the terminal beyond the allotted free time.  

    • Congestion at pick-up or delivery or the location being closed is not a free pass.   The clock will continue ticking, so it is imperative to address demurrage quickly.

    • Demurrage is billed at a daily rate and escalates as the days increase.  

    • Demurrage charges need to be paid before a container can be pulled from the yard.

  • Per Diem

    • A per diem charge is a fixed rate per day that a carrier charges against another carrier or customer for use of its containers, trailers or chassis.  
    • Per diem charges accumulate until the equipment is returned to the port or rail terminal.
  • Storage

    • Storage charges are assigned to the shipper or consignee for holding containers or trailers at a terminal beyond the free time allotted to them.

If you want to know more about these charge we invite you to read "Demurrage, Detention, Per Diem & Storage - Definitions & How to Avoid". 

FMCSA has a listing of various freight terms, check out our glossary of terms or download the following eBook of terms.

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