Maersk introduces penalty for misdeclared out-of-gauge cargoes

Maersk is introducing a new penalty fee for the misdeclaration of out-of-gauge cargoes. The container carrier says it is experiencing too many incidents with shipments causing issues due to wrongly declared dimensions. The surcharge is created to cover the carrier’s additional administrative work.

Effective July 1st, Maersk will charge customers a fee of 500 dollars per 20, 40 or 45 foot open top or flat rack container for their misdeclared special cargoes.

‘The fee is applicable to all out-of-gauge shipments which at gate-in exceed the booked dimensions in any way, as well as in-gauge shipments gated in as out-of-gauge,’ Maersk states in an advisory. The fee is used to cover all additional administrative effort these misdeclarations cause, which includes re-quotation, terminal checks for feasibility and costs, as well as documentation amendments.

Maersk is introducing the penalty fee because the company often receives misdeclared cargoes where it is neither safe nor operationally feasible to handle the shipment. ‘To make sure all cargo can be planned and handled safely we need to know the correct dimensions in advance,’ Maersk states.

To help customers in the booking process, the company’s Special Cargoes team will reach out to customers five days prior to departure to confirm the booked dimensions as well as the End-Wall position, in case the cargo is transported on a flat-rack. If the dimensions of a cargo change between booking and gate-in, for example, due to lashing or packing, customers can update the booking before gate-in without any penalty.

Growing business

Maersk transports some piece of breakbulk or out-of-gauge cargo on every sailing nowadays, regional special cargo manager Jesse Dean turner recently told PCJ. To streamline the business, the carrier has developed an online booking and quotation platform which has shortened the quotation process from ‘many days to hours and sometimes even minutes,’ Turner said. You can read the full interview here.

This article first appeared on Project Cargo Journal, which is another publication of SWZ|Maritime’s publishing partner Promedia.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.