A pre-pull is defined as when a trucker picks up your container from port and stores it at a trucker’s yard. It helps avoid Demurrage fees when a container can’t immediately be processed out of port to its final destination. A trucker shortage in 2021 caused alot of containers to miss their Last Free Day at port. Consequently, a lot of containers were pre-pulled and stored into trucker yards.
Reducing Port Storage Fees
Again, ports charge storage fees for parking a container at port beyond the allotted number of free days. Port storage fees range between $100-300 per container/per day. Alternatively, a Pre-Pull is $200-$400 + minimal storage costs at a trucker yard. As such, if you don’t know how long it will take to move your containers, a pre-pull is less risky than incurring extended demurrage. For example, if have two containers earning demurrage at $250 a day across three days – your bill starts at $750. However, these port storage charges cease once the container exits the port. So make sure your freight forwarder plans with preventing port storage in mind.
When Does Cargo Need a Pre-Pull?
Sometimes, the supply chain is beyond a cargo owners control. Goods can arrive on time at port. However, it might be a hurry up and wait scenario, as the next stage of your supply chain decongests. For example, you may want to move your container asap. However, you cannot due a list of reasons:
- Container Freight Station congestion
- Insufficient loading bays
- Lack of container parking capacity
- Delays in customs
- Contractual issues
- Weather events, including hurricanes
What are Pre-Pull Fees?
Pre-pulls are benefit the customer by avoiding demurrage charges at the port. Does that mean they are free? No. A Pre-pull charge can range between $200-400. Additionally, there is a fixed storage rate that varies from yard to yard. These fees are charged to the cargo owner. Cargo owners will see Pre-Pull fees itemized as an ‘origin or destination charge’.
How to Avoid Demurrage?
If a container cannot be moved from port before it’s Last Free Day – it needs a pre-pull. Typically, this happens when cargo needs a drop-off appointment at its next destination. However, if the appointment date exceeds the amount of Free Time at the port, a pre-pull takes place.
Similarly, pre-pulls occur when early morning delivery appointments are scheduled past the allotted free time at port. For example, a container needs to be picked up from port on the Last Free Day, but can’t be delivered that afternoon. It needs overnight storage in a truck yard, where it can depart early the next morning to make the appointment time.
If you can – book a container delivery appointment for the afternoon. This way, you can secure a pick up that morning and unload it on the same day. Otherwise, an early appointment time risks a pre-pull charge.