All ports around the world offer a certain free period (maybe 3-7 days) to allow import customers time to process import requirements and take delivery of the import containers from the port of discharge or terminal.
However, there are cases where the consignee may be unable to take delivery from the port due to a documentary, financial, contractual problems, customs stops, etc.
In such cases, the containers may be stuck at the port affecting the yard space in the terminal, port productivity, creating berth and port congestion and other associated problems.
In order to discourage this practice and encourage the importers to be pro-active and take care of the cargo clearance issues, port levies a charge on any container that has not been moved out of the port within the specified free time.
This charge is called Port Storage. It may be collected directly by the port from the customer or via the shipping line. Port storage is different from demurrage and detention which are also charges collected by the shipping lines.
Port storage is a set charge which is published in the tariff circulated by the port and is usually valid for at least one year.
In some countries, there are options whereby the customer can request the shipping line to move the container from inside the port to a private customs bonded depot. This may be done to save costs as the private depot storage cost may be much lower than that of the port/terminal.