Container Detention

Shipping rates include rental of a shipping container for the duration of the freight journey, plus a defined free period that varies between shipping lines. Generally you can allow about a week before and after the move. If you have possession of a container outside this free period the shipping line will charge you a daily rental fee, known as container detention. These fees are quite high because they are designed to act as a deterrent and encourage users to unload and return containers as quickly as possible. A few weeks of detention can easily result in a bill for more than the container is worth and if detention is prolonged then the bill can run to tens of thousands of dollars.

To avoid detention charges you are advised to unpack and return the container within seven days from first day of availability. If you know this will not be possible we recommend you contact us to discuss the situation. We can unpack and store at our warehouse for you, or alternatively we can arrange for long-term rental of a retired shipping container at your premises. These are available for a much lower price than container detention prices.

Import / Export