Difference between Storage and Demurrage

image for storage containerWhat is the difference between Storage and Demurrage..??

This is another area where some confusion exists and I will explain the reason why..

In general terms, Demurrage is the charge levied by the shipping line on the consignee if the container is not cleared and returned to the nominated empty depot within the specified free days offered by the line.. The free days and charges might vary depending on the country and shipping line..

Storage is the charge levied by the port or the terminal to the shipping line as long as the container is sitting in the port (may or may not be within the specified free days offered by the port).. The shipping line in turn recovers this cost from the consignee..

It is possible that a container can incur both Demurrage and Storage on the same shipment..

However, there are some countries like Saudi Arabia and Japan, where the term demurrage seems to be used to denote storage in the port/lines terminal..

Best option would be to check with the shipping line in your country how these terms are defined..

Are you aware of any other countries where storage and demurrage have the same meaning..??


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18 thoughts on “Difference between Storage and Demurrage

Be part of the discussion and share your views about the article here..

  1. If you order goods from abroad … the sender sends out more than you require… the shipping company then charges you money for said items… but still will not release them can this be done … the sender has been paid in full … can he stop the release of said items

  2. In Pakistan the Demurrage is charged by Port authorities on full containers from vessel berthing date (5 days free time allowed to consignees).
    Storage is charged by Terminal on full containers from berthing date (5 days free time allowed)
    Detention is charged by carrier also from berthing date till container is returned as empty at carrier’s nominated depot. Carriers also allow some free days to their consignees.

  3. is the shipping line possible to charge storage and demurrage at the same time?.. or at one container only?.. pls advise the difference between storage and demurrage charges.

  4. Its still confusing can any one suggest me with simple examples the difference between detention demurage and port storage in export shipment,as far my knowledge is concerned

    Detention is the nos of free days offered by the shipping line to the shipper if the container is gated in after the free time detention charges apply as per tariff.

    port storage is the nos of free days offered by the line to the shipper once the container is gated in after the free time offered till the vessel sails.

    port storage charges will apply as per tariff.

    demmurage means if the container is inside the port if it crosses the free time demmurage charges will apply as per tariff.

    please confirm if my understanding about export shipment is correct.

    • Hi Avish, did you read my article “https://shippingandfreightresource.com/ground-rent-vs-demurrage-detention/“.. If you still have any doubts, let me know..

      1) Storage – amount charged by the entity storing the container (full or empty) till it moves out of the facility
      2) Demurrage – amount charged by the shipping line from the time of expiry of free days till it is moved out of port or terminal for unpacking
      3) Detention – amount charged by the shipping line from the time the full container is picked up till it is returned empty to the depot nominated by the shipping line
      4) Once returned, till it is reused, the empty container can incur storage at the depot

  5. In South Africa, it is understood as per Mr. Hariesh.

    The rest of the world understands it as Mr. Prabir does – I do not know why South Africa views it differently?

    It can and has caused massive amounts of confusion between South African parties and foreign parties; even within the same organisation when communicating with foreign agents.

  6. Sir, my understanding is the same as Mr Prabir DasGupta. Let say the shipping line able to provide 3 days FOC for Port area, then shipping line is reponsible to clear the item within three days. Then, the shipping line provide another FOC 3 days AT their own storage around port if there is any issues with their transport. So both demurrage and storage charges will incur if the shipping line took out the container later than these 6 days. After that, the shipping line sent the item to consignee and give them 5 days FOC where within these days, the consignee need to unstuff the items and return the container to shipping line where this is when the detention comes if consignee fail to return the container after 5 days. please, do enlighten me if am wrong.

  7. Ok, what about a situation where consignee tried to pay before items were shipped and upon arrival the shipping agent and clearing agent inflate costs?
    Then added storage etc over a weekend in sa, what can I do to recover my funds?
    I have been ripped off

  8. How about ground rent ? Is it same as Storage ? Is it charged by the port to shipping line and shipping lines intern charges the same to consignee ?

  9. I am afraid my understanding is different.
    It is called Detention when the charge levied by the shipping line on the consignee if the container is not cleared and returned to the nominated empty depot within the specified free days offered by the line. The free days and charges might vary depending on the country and shipping line.
    Whereas Demurrage/Storage is the charge levied by the port on the shipping line (since they have the account with the port) if the container is not moved out of the port within the specified free days offered by the port.. The shipping line in turn recovers this cost from the consignee.
    Kindly comment and correct me if I am wrong.

    • No sir, your understanding is not right.. Demurrage/Detention is definitely a charge associated with the shipping line.. Storage is a charge generally associated with the port, but in certain countries, it can also be associated with the line if a container is moved to a private depot by the shipping line..