When your business imports goods using air and sea freight, they will pass through various locations before reaching their final destination. Several agencies charge storage, demurrage and detention fees. In most cases, storage is free for a certain time. Extended use of space and equipment beyond this period results in storage charges.

Understanding these charges and the different types of storage can be confusing. Experienced freight forwarders like BCR have been working with import agencies for decades and have a thorough understanding of these charges. Expert providers also understand that paying attention to these charges is crucial to avoiding inflated freight costs. By relying on experienced freight forwarders, you can minimise storage charges with attention to detail and tight proactive co-ordination.

1) Timely and accurate processing to save storage charges

Warehouses and freight facilities will allocate a certain number of free storage days before processing goods for customs clearance and release. The entity responsible for storing the cargo will levy storage charges according to the number of free days offered and the set tariff.

Many facilities charge rates based on the number of storage days. The charges increase significantly as the number of storage days increases. Any discrepancies in cargo declaration documents are likely to delay cargo movements and attract more storage charges. Importing requires proper research on commodity quota restrictions, duty rates and import restrictions.

Government laws require documentation to be in compliance for timely and accurate processing. These documents play a major role in avoiding any delays and additional storage charges. An experienced freight forwarder can assist by being proactive with the necessary documentation and avoid costly storage for your business.

2) Advanced planning to save demurrage charges

Demurrage charges refer to the amount charged by shipping lines for air freight or sea freight cargo that remains at the terminal or port beyond the allotted free days. Free time allocated for cargo storage can vary based on contracts, terminal and which carrier has transported the goods. These variables can be complex for importers and can result in missing details that cause further delays.

Freight forwarders with extensive knowledge of charges at various terminals can assist you to keep storage costs down. With access to pre-clearance options, expert sea freight, and air freight, they can coordinate and manage transactions to ensure the release of your cargo within the allotted free days.

Additionally, expert freight forwarders with years of industry experience are likely to provide contingency plans when time schedules become tight to ensure your cargo does not attract unnecessary demurrage costs, resulting in higher landed costs of your goods.

3) Manage detention time windows to avoid charges

Shipping lines levy detention charges from the day the loaded container becomes available at the terminal to the day the empty container is returned after the goods have been off-loaded. Extra detention charges can be applied for any additional time the transportation mode has to wait. These charges may not be always standardised and vary depending on the terminal, port, and transportation company.

The challenge lies in managing the transportation drop, which can result in high waiting times for offloading. Experienced freight forwarders know these detention time windows and apply this knowledge when planning your cargo. Expert sea freight and air freight providers make sure that all the loading or unloading formalities are complete before the cargo arrives. This allows plenty of time to schedule the pick-ups and deliveries.

In some cases, established freight forwarders have long-standing partnerships with carriers and can negotiate extended free periods. This brings much-needed flexibility to complex processes.

An experienced freight forwarder is likely to offer expert advice and be able to assist you in avoiding storage charges and additional sea and air freight costs. For more than a century BCR has assisted small, medium and large businesses with international freight forwarding to and from the major Australian airports and seaports. BCR also delivers valuable services including 3PL warehousing and Customs-related services.

For more than a century, BCR has continued to help small, medium and large businesses achieve an optimum logistics solution with warehousing and transportation, including air freight and sea freight services to and from the major ports including Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle (Perth).