Demurrage on freight deliveries caused by traffic delays and poor access.

What does Demurrage mean?

The Collins English Dictionary defines demurrage as “the delaying of a ship, railway wagon, etc, caused by the charterer’s failure to load, unload, etc, before the time of scheduled departure” and “the extra charge required as compensation for such a delay.”

Demurrage applies to all forms of transport, from international shipping to local road transport. There are many factors and situations that result in additional charges to compensate for delays. Although some are simply unforeseen and unavoidable, the most common can usually be prevented with proper communication and planning. When filling out our Quote Request Form, take time to consider the following information.
Now, let’s look at how everyday demurrage in road transport can easily be prevented.

Confirm Scheduled Pickup and Delivery

Ensure that both the pickup and delivery locations are aware of the date and expected time of the scheduled driver’s arrival. This allows both parties to plan, have someone present and have the freight ready for the vehicle as soon as it arrives. The vehicle can then be loaded and unloaded on schedule.

Access Restrictions

Avoid guaranteed demurrage by confirming beforehand that there is adequate access for the pickup and delivery vehicle. Consider restrictions such as low clearance carports and tight lane ways or driveways. It’s safer not to assume, but enquire as to the size of the vehicle we will be dispatching to pick up and deliver the freight. If a large vehicle will be sent out, there needs to be adequate access at both the pickup and delivery locations.

“Ensure there is enough time for production, packing, picking and
preparing the freight before the expected pickup time..”

Sometimes there are no access restrictions to the location but access ways have been blocked or made significantly smaller by parked vehicles or large items temporarily stored there, such as pallets. Confirming the scheduled pickup and delivery means the area can be kept clear of vehicles and other items, allowing the transport vehicle to safely access the location without delays. Don’t assume that we will send the smallest possible vehicle, but enquire as to the size of the vehicle which will be dispatched.

Adequate Loading Equipment

Ensure the appropriate equipment is available at the pickup and delivery location. If a forklift is required to load and unload freight, like palletised freight, it needs to be confirmed whether the pickup and delivery location has a forklift or other loading equipment available. If this is made clear when making the booking, Freight Quote can arrange for an adequate vehicle, for example a Hiab truck to be allocated for the job. Serious delays and significant fees can be avoided by simply thinking ahead.
Avoid Demurrage - Forklift loading times considered when palletised freight is loaded onto truck

Production and Freight Preparation Delays

Possibly the most frustrating and easily avoided demurrage situation is when the freight is not ready in time for the scheduled pickup. Ensure there is enough time for production, packing, picking and preparing the freight before the expected pickup time. This may seem obvious but cutting it too fine means any unexpected setbacks in production or packaging can cause massive delays and demurrage fees.

Transporting freight without delays is dependent on many factors. The most important being the cooperation of all parties involved, including the transport company, the sender and the receiver. Careful planning and effective communication between all parties involved, including Freight Quote, will greatly reduce the risk of costly demurrage.