Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Demurrage

Quick Summary of Demurrage

A charge required as compensation for the delay of a ship or freight car or other cargo beyond its scheduled time of departure.

What is the dictionary definition of Demurrage?

Dictionary Definition

A charge payable to the owner of a chartered ship in respect of failure to load or discharge the ship within the time agreed.

  1. nautical the detention of a ship or other freight vehicle, during delayed loading or unloading
  2. Compensation paid for such detention
  3. A charge made for exchanging currency for bullion

Full Definition of Demurrage

  1. A Penalty for exceeding free time (usually 72 hours) allowed for taking delivery of a shipment from the shipping or transporting company’s warehouse.
  2. A penalty assessed against a consignor, consignee, or another such party responsible for delay in loading or unloading of a shipping vessel or for undue detention (usually over 48 hours) of the transportation equipment.

Examples of Demurrage in a sentence

The House of Lords upheld that the company was not liable as principal to pay demurrage.
The Owners claimed demurrage pursuant to clause 5 of the charter party.
The shipowner could earn more with less risk by making sure there were demurrage clauses in the charter party.
We have delayed your departure for over a day, so if you will put in a bill for demurrage, I will approve it.
A ship unjustly detained, is typically entitled to demurrage.
In his new position, Paul is responsible for tank truck and rail carrier selection, carrier performance and demurrage analysis for petrochemical products.
All businesses face the risk that, if customs clearance procedures are delayed, demurrage fees may become due to the port authority or operator.

Synonyms For Demurrage

detention charge

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Demurrage. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. September 27, 2021
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Demurrage. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: September 27, 2021).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Demurrage. Retrieved September 27, 2021, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Demurrage are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 15th February, 2020 | 1 Views.