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!

New laws could force WWII vets to move back to Germany from the USA

As world travel gets easier and the barriers of relocating from one country to another continue to decrease, America and Germany continue to be two of the countries most frequently involved in citizen swaps. In fact, the amount of people moving to Germany from the USA and, in return, from Germany to the United States has surged at a rapid pace. It now appears, however, that there will be many new forced immigrations as well.


That was the word out of Germany as news spread that the standard for trying potential criminals of war-crimes has been lowered and that the country would therefore step up efforts to force suspects to leave their homes in America to come and stand trial in Germany.

The change resulted from the successful prosecution of John Demjanjuk over one year ago that charged him as an accessory to murder in almost 30,000 cases stemming from the Second World War. Demjanjuk lived in the USA but was charged in court in Munich. He was a guard at one of the infamous death camps of Poland and, as many have over the years, escaped prosecution on the basis of his claims that he never actually committed the murders but was just “working” at the camp.

This has been a common story over the decades. However, as authorities have learned more about the war and the way that these common “workers” also very likely had a helping hand in the brutal murder of millions of people they have been able to prosecute defendants without having to tie them to specific crimes.

Another high profile case, being investigated against Johann “Hans” Breyer of Northeast Philadelphia, has also gained global attention. Breyer has long claimed that his job in the camps did not involve any illegal activity and, in fact, a federal court ruled several years ago that he could remain in the U.S. However, the case of Demjanjuk has reopened the case and Breyer, 87 years old, is again being pursued.

While the constant moving back and forth of Germans and Americans has been an extremely positive development over the decades since the end of the war, it is good to see the German authorities not resting on these laurels and willing to push the issue while knowing that this could strain the relations of the two countries. It has been proven again and again that even workers with supposedly legal jobs at the camps often rotated duties with some of the other overtly violent workers and that very rarely was there someone on the premises of the death camps without blood on their hands.

Let’s hope that the German Nazi hunters continue their thorough pursuit of these alleged perpetrators and that friendly relations and back and forth transfers will not cease between Germany and the USA as a result.

Rainier Overseas Movers will give you a free quote for your move to Germany from the USA. Contact us for more information.