Thursday, May 30, 2019

Demurrage on Trailer Chassis Can Be a Bane for Importers of Shipping Containers

Handling Option Can Avoid Problems and Expense
Shipping News Feature
US – Doubtless nobody would dispute the revolutionary effect the invention and distribution of the ubiquitous shipping container has had upon the transfer of freight around the planet. Within a few decades of their arrival on the scene the holds of ships, where men (and they were almost entirely men) sweated for days to unload the broad spectrum of cargoes, had become the location for the real life video game now played by crane drivers around the world.

However, despite the convenience of the boxes, there can be several scenarios where there is a downside, and the big bugbear for most of these results in the one term dreaded by importers and exporters alike, demurrage. Keeping a container on site is not the big deal, the rental on one cargo unit is comparatively low. When it sits atop a chassis trailer however, particularly one with a cab attached which comes with a professional, and expensive, driver, costs can soar.

The problem is simple, if an importer needs to offload a full box the time allocated is short, anything from 2 to 4 hours usually dependent on the circumstances. When however the load consists of 20 foot ISO tank containers full of wax which take days to discharge, the need for a solution to resolve the spiralling costs becomes extremely urgent.

When Pittsburg, California outfit Masterank saw bills of up to $900 a day in chassis detention fees rolling in the company knew it had to do something about it. The problem was compounded by the ISO tanks being placed very close to each other in a confined area. There was simply not enough space for a forklift, crane or other equipment to handle the containers. Masterank Wax imports approximately 90x 20’ ISO Tankers per month of solid wax from Hong Kong for liquidation and distribution across the United States.

The company explored the options and turned to global specialist in container lift systems BISON, established in New Zealand in 2014, and which supplies C-Lifts, container lifting jacks for wherever ISO containers of all types need to be lifted, offloaded, weighed, or grounded. BISON CEO, Greg Fahey explained:

"[Masterank] were simply wasting thousands of dollars a month just because they were not aware of our container lifting solutions. Now, when an ISO tanker arrives on a truck, Masterank simply uses the C-Lift A Series to remove it from the chassis and place it on the ground. The truck and the chassis leave the site immediately, this means there are no detention fees to pay.

"We're excited to be helping American industry save money, achieve efficiencies, and improve site safety. Not only can the BISON C-Lift handle containers in spaces other equipment cannot, in many cases it is safer, faster, and more cost effective.”