Getting to know important terms about overseas container shipping

It’s no secret that the moving industry has their own common terms to describe overseas container shipping. But if you know what those terms are and learn about the differences of each one, it will provide you with important knowledge when you decide to move overseas, so you are aware of any potential additional charges when moving. Some of the terminology can get quite confusing at times if you don’t know the meanings of container shipping and charges that come with it.

I’ll provide you with important key terms and to clarify each of them so that you will be better suited to know about container shipping and especially when you are talking to your moving representative or agent about your personal belongings or other shipping items headed out of the country.

Let’s begin with container demurrage and container detention. Both are uniquely different but can be confusing at times. The term demurrage relates to cargo while the cargo is in the container. Detention is when your possessions or general equipment (cargo) is empty and out of the container after unpacking or before packing.

Container demurrage is referred to when the container with a payload has either been offloaded from a vessel, also known as import or waiting to be loaded onto a vessel, known as an export. An import container can’t be shipped out until U.S. Customs officially releases it or decides to exam the container or schedules it for an inspection. If Customs decides to do this, it can impact the delay of the shipment and accrue demurrage charges if it’s not picked up in time. An export container doesn’t usually incur demurrage charges due to the return date and port dates are for the most part, extremely narrow. But if an export container does sustain demurrage fees, it’s due to a shipper or exporter deciding to delay a container or U.S. Customs chooses to exam or inspect the shipment.

Container detention is when the container is offloaded or discharged from the port with or without a payload, and is in possession of a drayage company that will then ship your possessions to an importer’s or exporter’s facilities before it is shipped to you. Detention just means that it’s in a facility being prepared to get the shipment out to you from when it was in the port or other locations.

Other terms include demurrage charges which varies from port-to-port and increases over time depending upon the length of time the container is at the port. Please know that demurrage charges must be paid to the ocean carrier before the container can be released. Keep in mind that ports set their own port free time which means no charges will be applied while the container is at their port (ports free time days vary). If free time days are exceeded, demurrage charges will apply. In addition, ocean carriers allow drayage companies to have containers in a facility for a set number of days at no charge which is referred to as container free time.

When moving a container on the road, you need a chassis rental for a truck to move the container. When a chassis has been provided, the owner of the chassis, whether an ocean liner or port operator, will charge a daily chassis rental charge which varies depending upon the location.

These are just some of the terms used in overseas container shipping. By getting to know these terms and shipping overall (please visit to learn more), it will prevent very little surprises if some fees are charged due to delays out of the control of your shipping representative or agent who are trying to manage and limit your fees as much as possible!

Will French president's new tax laws discourage people from moving to France from the USA?

As French President François Hollande continues to push forward with his new tax plan to, essentially, raise taxes for high income earners, there has been a fervent opposition coming from the start up community who are saying that the new bill will further discourage entrepreneurs from moving to France from the USA and will ultimately prevent young innovators from even ever considering France as a long term destination.

The start up group, locally referred to as “pigeons,” has long felt the restrictions imposed by France and bemoaned the difficulties of starting a business there in comparison to the US. Capital gains taxes are substantially greater in “pays des droits de l’homme” (which means country of the human rights, a nickname for France) and tax laws there are historically slanted to favor the larger companies.

A direct quote regarding the complaint aptly describes the position of future potential start up entrepreneurs: “They are protesting against aspects of Hollande’s tough crisis budget for 2013 which, they say, are unfairly skewed against the small business sector and would kill the start up boom, forcing young digital innovators to flee France. They argue that a €2bn (£1.6bn) increase in capital gains taxes on equity sales would force entrepreneurs who sell their new companies to pay up to 58% to the state, discouraging them from getting new ideas off the ground in the first place.”

It appears that this issue will go straight to the heart of the long held debate of the pros and cons of one of the basic financial tenets of the USA vs. France. Since the beginning of the hi-tech era there has been speculation and, some would say, out and out resentment from the global financial community about the US’s seeming overwhelmingly dominant position as the preferred start up destination of the world as opposed to some of the other financial heavyweights around the globe, such as France.

Hopefully Hollande’s new tax laws will strike an extremely sensitive chord amongst the financial leaders of France and will force them to take the needs and desires of future start ups into account. You can only take away so many local incentives to start a business somewhere before the field of prospective innovators begins to dwindle and they decide to pursue their dreams elsewhere.

Rainier Overseas Movers is a global leader in helping people move to France from the USA. Contact us any time for a free quote and any other questions regarding your move.