Due to safety and operational challenges with dimension mismatches, Special Cargo introduces a new misdeclaration fee of 500 USD from 1 July 2020.
How is the fee applied?
The fee is applicable to shipments which at gate-in exceed the booked dimensions in any way. Five days prior to departure date, our Special Cargo team will reach out to the customer to confirm the booked dimensions, as well as the End-Wall position in case the cargo is transported on a Flat-rack. If we do not receive updated dimensions before gate-in but discover that the actual dimensions exceed the booked dimensions, the customer will receive a new quote with an updated rate and terminal handling charges, as well as the misdeclaration fee.
Please note that we are comparing dimensions between booked and actual dimensions, not the quoted dimensions. Therefore, even if the quote covers the exceeding dimensions, the misdeclaration fee will be applied, since the vessel was planned with the booked and not the quoted dimensions.
Why are we introducing the fee?
Globally, we experience around 20% of all cargo changing dimensions from booking to loading, and 6% causing issues due to misdeclaration where it is either not 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.
Furthermore, the fee is not added as a penalty per se but is introduced to cover all additional administrative effort these misdeclarations cause, amongst others the re-quote, terminal checks for feasibility and costs, as well as documentation amendments.
What is the benefit for the customer?
If the booked and actual dimensions are not matching, the cargo is typically shut out. This has been the case in the past and will happen within the new process as well. Therefore, it is only in your customers’ best interest to provide us with updated dimensions.
What can the customer do to prevent paying the fee?
Since we know that every customer’s cargo is special and might change size depending on packing and lashing, your customers can always reach out to you (sales or customer service representative) or the dedicated misdeclaration team to update the dimensions between booking and gate-in – without any penalty.
Should you have any queries or require any assistance, please contact your local Maersk A/S Sales Representative or our Customer Service hotline.
What if the new dimensions do not cause any additional lost slots?
Even though no additional slots are lost, we need to know about the updated dimensions. This amongst other reasons since some terminals have unique handling costs and your probably minor change might still have an impact on the operations and costs.
Does this fee apply to my country?
Yes. This is a global fee and will be applied to all misdeclared shipments.
What if only the length changes but not the width or height?
We do appreciate that unless the end wall position changes, the length difference will not cause many issues. However, the difference will still be flagged since in some terminals the new combination of length, width and height might make a difference in how it will be handled. Therefore, unless we were informed about the change, the fee still applies.
What if the dimensions only change by a few centimetres?
Even a few centimetres can make a world of a difference. We therefore need to receive your updated dimensions or otherwise charge the misdeclaration fee.
What if the exact dimensions are not known at the time of booking?
The dimensions are typically not known 100% at the time of quoting and booking. However, after lashing and at the time of pick-up the final dimensions are typically available. If the customer is still unable to provide updated dimensions, they are always able to add a few centimetres buffer to the assumed dimensions during the booking stage, if the quoted dimensions are not exceeded.
In case of any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your local Maersk A/S Customer Service Representative.
All depots will in their normal operating hours.
Thank you for the understanding and unwavering support.