DEM and DET fees in Logistics are the two most popular Local Charge fees today when it comes to container storage fees. So, what is the difference between these 2 fees and when are they applied? Join FBI LOGISTICS to distinguish DEM and DET fees in Logistics through the article below!

What are DEM and DET fees in Logistics?


DEM stands for Demurrage charge , is the fee for storing containers at the port’s yard. This fee is collected by the shipping company. 

It can be understood that, DEM is the fee that the shipping company has to pay to the port. And to have money to pay, shipping lines will have to collect from customers. Money collected from customers is returned to the port by the shipping line with a separate agreement. This fee will be charged per container unit.

distinguish DEM and DET

Distinguish DEM and DET fees in Logistics

Depending on each shipping line, the specific policy of free time or days when storing containers at the yard may be different. Customers only have to pay the DEM fee after the free period has passed.


DET is an acronym for Detention Charge, which is the fee for storing containers at the warehouse (this warehouse is the customer’s private warehouse). 

Similar to DEM, you also have to pay this fee to the shipping line. At the same time, the shipping line also offers a policy on how to free time and charge DET fees. The DET fee will be calculated on a daily basis and also depends on the type and size of the container.

Distinguish DEM and DET fees in Logistics

Similarities between DEM and DET fees

This is the fee that the customer needs to pay when there is a shipping fee. These two fees are not included in the default fee bracket of the shipping lines. 

These fees are calculated on a daily basis and depend on the type and size of the container.

These two charges apply to both imports and exports.

Difference between DEM and DET fees in Logistics

With imports:

  • DEM : After the ship arrives, the port will coordinate with the shipping line to unload your container at the port’s yard and the shipping company will send a notice of goods to D/O for you to pick up the goods. 

Usually the shipping company will give you a certain time limit to prepare the means of towing the container to the warehouse. This period depends on the shipping line, usually 1-7 days for dry containers, and 1-3 days for refrigerated containers. 

During this period, you are completely free of DEM. But if you pick up the item after this period, the DEM Fee will start from the overdue date to the date you pick up the item. This fee is calculated in the unit of money/day/container (depending on the type and size of the container).

Simply put, the DEM fee will be calculated from the overdue date you come to pick up the goods. 

For example: The shipping company gives you 3 days to pick up the goods, but you can only come on the 4th day, you will be charged 1 day DEM.

  • DET : The shipping line will charge your DET starting from the date of empty payment late than the specified free time. 

For example: The shipping line gives you 5 days to return the empty container, but until the 6th day you can pull the empty container back to the shipping company, you will be charged 1 day DET. 

distinguish DEM and DET

Distinguish DEM and DET fees in Logistics

With exports:

  • DEM : After the shipping line issues a booking for you, you can tow the container for packing and the shipping line has set the departure date (ETD). You can only unload (bring the packed container to the port) before a specified time, usually 1-7 days for dry goods, 1-3 days for cold goods. 

If you unload the Container too early, the shipping company will charge from the day you lower to the day the ship runs minus the number of days that are free. 

Usually with export goods, it is very rare to encounter DEM fee, you will pay this fee when you drop your goods due to late customs clearance and have to go to the next trip or because your warehouse is too full, the speed of goods, the tractor container does not meet the demand so you can not store your container at the warehouse anymore, but have to drag the container to the port.

  • DET : The DET fee for exported goods is calculated by the shipping line based on the date the shipping line allows to take the container compared to the actual date of taking the container. The shipping line will waive DET in case of late pick up and charge as prescribed in case of early pick up.

Things to note about DEM and DET fees

When you learn about what DEM and DET are, there are definitely some important notes below:

  • Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays will also be included in the free time of DEM and DET, except for special cases where customers can have flexibility from the port or shipping line.
  • In some cases: if the shipping line policy is applicable, the customer’s power such as the relationship with the carrier, the monthly volume volume, etc., the customer can apply for more free time DEM and DET
  • DEM/DET/Storage fees have different fees depending on the shipping line
  • DEM/DET/Storage fee is charged depending on the type, size and number of days of delay of the container. Normally, refrigerated containers will have a higher fee because of their large size.
  • Packing at the yard will not be charged DET
  • It is necessary to ask about the free time of DEM/DET at the port of loading and the port of discharge during the booking process to ensure benefits and avoid unnecessary problems.

Above are a few other points that FBI LOGISTICS sends to you to be able to distinguish DEM and DET fees in Logistics. Hope the above content brings you useful and valuable knowledge. If you need more advice on import and export policies and services, please contact FBI Logistics.


Here FBI LOGISTICS has useful knowledge about Logistics industry you can refer to: 

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