Indian shippers complain of excessive detention charges
Detention charges on containers in Indian ports are riling importers there, according to a report in the Economic Times Tuesday.
The issue is this: shipping lines give shippers five days free time before assessing detention penalties. However, the lines continue counting days even when their offices are closed, argued shippers. So, if an empty is dropped at a port on a Friday evening after the carrier’s office is closed, it’s not counted as turned in until the office opens on Monday morning. The problem is exacerbated when there are national holidays — which there was on Monday — as another day of detention is incurred. With detention charges in the country’s biggest port, Jawaharlal Nehru, running about $100 per day, it soon adds up.
Importers also argue that much of the five days of free time is taken up just taking delivery of the box, never mind transporting it to its destination and back to the port. They also say that capital is locked up because the lines require them to pay detention charges in advance, and then get a refund if the box is delivered on time.