Top 8 Tips For Reducing Your Detention & Demurrage Costs

05 September 2016


At Hutchison Logistics, we regularly engage with medium to large shippers interested to explore how we can help them to reduce their Detention & Demurrage costs, particularly given we’re part of Hutchison Ports, the global port leaders who own and operate the Port of Felixstowe being one of a connected network of 48 ports spanning 25 countries.


To help shippers make better informed decisions and to assist them in reducing or even eradicating their Detention (ie container rent) & Demurrage (ie quay rent) costs, we would like to share our following top 8 tips which we hope you will find of a value:


  1. Check your free time with carrier – whilst you would think this is common sense, it is not always common practice, particularly for shipments arranged/controlled by the supplier for which the importer is unaware;
  2. Update vessel ETA – always check and update the vessel ETA for shipments 7 days before the advised ETA, in order that you can plan ahead for your containers;
  3. Negotiate free time terms with carrier – if you are the freight payer it is important that you negotiate free time terms with your carrier/s to suit your consignees’ requirements which may include intermodal options requiring longer detention;
  4. Consider carrier haulage – one possibility is to book your transport through the shipping line and let them choose the best intermodal option to deliver your container in a timely manner;
  5. Port centric logistics – it could be beneficial to intercept, devan and cross-dock the goods from your container as soon as possible at facilities at or near the port, particularly during peak periods or for heavy weight consignments;
  6. Off port storage – should your inland facility not be ready to receive your container immediately, it may be worth considering moving the container to an off-port storage yard as a potential buffer depending on the cost benefit of doing so;
  7. Choose a proactive agent – most importantly is your selection of a trusted, proactive agent to seamlessly manage the communication flows effectively and getting all the “ducks in a row” before the vessel arrives;
  8. Select a specialist agent – particularly when dealing with specialist commodities, such as foodstuffs, which possibly require examination and expedite clearances, it is important that you select the best agent with the specialist expertise and sector knowledge to handle your shipments and avoid any delays which could incur cost.


At Hutchison Logistics, we use our Best Intent to help shippers make Better Informed Decisions. We hope that by sharing this post we will further help shippers to reduce their Detention & Demurrage costs.