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What is Per Diem Charge?


Import / Customs



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Per Diem Charge

What is Per Diem Charge?

Also known as ‘detention,’ per diem charge is the fee that the ocean carrier charges for each day past the number of “free” days that the container spends away from the port. 

How and why is per diem charge implemented?

Per diem charge is implemented because ocean carriers are often anxious and diligent to get their containers back, which will allow them to stay in circulation. In a way, the per diem charge discourages importers from storing containers for extensive periods of time. 

What happens if you need to keep storing cargo?

While it is ideal that a container is returned before the end of  its ‘free days,’ it is also important to note that importers often need to store their cargo for a longer period of time. If one needs to store cargo for an extended period of time, but wants to avoid per diem charges, it is suggested that they unload the container at a warehouse, as storage charges at warehouses are generally cheaper than per diem charges. This way, the load will be stored and the trucker will be able to return the contained back to the carrier on time. 

How much are per diem charges? 

Per diem charges vary by carrier and port, but they normally range between $50 and $100 per day. 



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