• Possible Delays on Ocean and Air Freight in the U.S....More
  • Service Alert due to Situation in Ukraine...More
Skip To Main Content
UPS Supply Chain Solutions®


What is Demurrage?

Charges applied when a container is left in a terminal past its designated "free" time (also called "lay time"). The consignee is generally responsible for any demurrage incurred and must pay the charges in full before they can receive their goods.

Demurrage charges are per container, per day, and vary based on carrier, terminal, warehouse, etc., and will generally be higher for reefer or refrigerated containers.

Demurrage charges can be incurred for various reasons - some that are preventable, and others that are not. Common issues that may delay release of your goods include incomplete or incorrect paperwork, customs exams, force majeure, or shipment disputes.

In instances where you have a less-than-container load (LCL), while you will not be charged demurrage on the full container load (FCL), the carrier may charge a fee based on the space occupied by your goods in the container freight station (CFS) where the goods are deconsolidated. An experienced cargo consolidation team can help you avoid these charges.

Fun fact: "Demurrage" comes from an old French word, "demeurer", meaning "to linger or tarry".

Related Terms

Detention Drayage Drayage Charge Wharfage

Related FAQs

What are freight terms of sale?

What is cross docking?

What is LTL?

Box Icon

Get Started with an Air or Ocean Freight Quote

On our UPS® Forwarding Hub, get and compare quotes, book shipments, and track them end-to-end on one modern, easy-to-navigate dashboard. Get a quote to start booking today.

Get a Quote Open the link in a new window UPS<sup>®</sup> Forwarding Hub Application on mobile devices
Mail Icon

Insight in Your Inbox

Never miss out on the latest industry news, expert insights, and promotions. We'll send you what you need to know to keep your freight moving.

Sign Me Up Open the link in a new window UPS Global Freight Forwarding promotional email on tablet