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United States 

Connecting the USA to the world

MSC has been helping customers to ship cargo to and from the USA since 1985. Today, the company stands for 1,250 employees, 9 offices, 21 ports, 31 terminals, 44 weekly services and 75 inland ramps. 

Awards for MSC USA
  • WestRock ‘Carrier of the Year’ 2020/2021 
  • TopOcean ‘Outstanding business partner’ 2020 
  • ‘Carrier of the Year’ 2018-2019 – Bob’s Discount
  • AIT Worldwide Logistics ‘Diamond Ocean Carrier of the Year’ 2020

Contact our  team to request a quote, book or find out more about our local services

Import Security Filing (ISF)

Get easy access to Bill of Lading Number information to complete ISF filings with US Customs.

Detention, Demurrage, Per Diem and Storage Charges

Detention, Demurrage, Per Diem and Storage in the USA

Detention - Charge applicable, after the free time expires, for the use of the carrier’s full container inside the marine terminal or railroad facilities or container yard. This also applies while the container is undergoing U.S. custom examination, or while it is undergoing reworking of cargo for safety reasons.    

Demurrage - Charge applicable, after the free time expires, inside the terminal for the use of the land.

Per Diem - Charge applicable, after the free time expires, for the use of the carrier’s container (full or empty) outside the marine terminal, rail ramp or container yard. 

Storage - Charge applicable, after the free time expires, inside the rail ramp or container yard for the use of the land.

Please kindly refer to the below email addresses in case of disputed charges:

Demurrage and Detention

In case of dispute, please email US038-nydetention@msc.com; subject: Dispute + Invoice Number, and kindly describe the reasons for your dispute.

Per Diem

In case of dispute, please email US038-PerdiemDisputes@msc.com; mentioning the invoice number in the subject. Kindly describe the reasons for your dispute in accordance with the terms of the UIIA - https://www.uiia.org

Our dispute team will reply within 48 business hours.

Detention and Demurrage payment through E- Pay

Paying by Credit Card: Please log onto https://e-pay.mymsc.com/iPayment/ and insert your invoice number (not BL#, CNTR# or any other reference). You can then add it to the cart and proceed with the payment. You will receive the payment confirmation and this same confirmation will be received by our Demurrage/Detention group which will proceed with the release and will notify you accordingly. No further message should be sent to US038-NYDETENTION@MSC.COM.

Detention and Demurrage updated payment policy

Please kindly note that by April 15th, 2021 the DDP Department will no longer accept check copies or written guarantees to release shipments from Detention and Demurrage hold.

The following options are available for release of shipment:

For immediate release, payment must be submitted via credit card.

If the payment cannot be done by credit card, payment by check, ACH is acceptable. However, the shipment will be released ONLY after the payment is received.

For Detention, Demurrage and Per Diem charges kindly check here.

SOLAS VGM information for the USA


A new regulation for a safer supply chain

VGM Receiving Policy

• Accepting the U.S. Coast Guard’s declared equivalency, whereas they have confirmed that the existing terminal weighing practice for on-dock scales in the United States is compliant with SOLAS regulation, all U.S. marine terminals are now allowed to use their certified scales to record the VGM. 

• MSC accepts the “Terminal Weighing Approach” to derive a compliant VGM for loading.

• For more information about "VGM USA policy and terminal guideline" please click on the PDF document on the right-hand side of this content.

 What to include in your VGM instructions

The following items are mandatory and must be on all VGM instructions:

• Booking or Bill of Lading number

• Container number

• VGM + weight measurement unit (lbs. or kgs.)

• Responsible party name

• Digital signature of the authorized signatory in all CAPITAL LETTERS.

How to submit your VGM instructions

• myMSC (Free of charge)

• EDI (via INTTRA; GT NEXUS; Cargo Smart)

• Manually (via INTTRA; GT NEXUS; Cargo Smart)

• Fax: 908-605-2619; e-Mail: vgmusa@msc.com

• The email will only be monitored for VGM declarations; 

Policy questions should be directed to the toll free number: 1 800 222 3367

Deadlines for sending your VGM instructions

• We encourage customers to submit their Shipper-Verified Gross Mass (VGM) before cargo is delivered to avoid any unexpected weighing charges being levied against the cargo at the US port of load, which will be billed to the shipper of record.

• Any shipper of record signed VGM will override any VGM derived at or by the terminal.

• For truck delivery the ultimate deadline for VGM submission will be 12 noon local time the day of the cargo cut-off.

• Currently, there are no US terminals with a “NO VGM – No GATE” policy. All “rail shipments” must have the VGM submitted within 24 hours of the container gating in at the origin rail ramp, to avoid any extra fees levied by the terminal for weighing services. Late gates will only be considered for approval when a VGM is submitted by the shipper of record before noon, local time, the day of the cargo cut-off.


MSC Admin Fees and costs

• Manual VGM Submission Fee (applies to email, fax, and inclusion on standard shipping instructions): $25 per container.

• Late VGM Submission Fee: $25 per container.

• VGM Mis-declaration Fee: $300 per mis declaration, per container.


Contact information

SOLAS VGM Customer Service: 1 800 222 3367

Documents needed on page:

USA VGM Policy and Terminal Guidelines

Prohibited Cargo

It is illegal to bring the following items into or out of the USA.

  • Articles containing dog or cat fur 
  • Designated plants 
  • Absinthe (if not compliant with specific regulations) 
  • Matches containing white phosphorus 
  • Ceramic tableware the lead content in the glaze of which exceeds a certain limit 
  • Jadeites or rubies (whether contained in jewellery or not) mined in Myanmar 
  • Gold coins if originating in specific countries (e.g. Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, Sudan) 
  • Counterfeit money 
  • Certain weapons, e.g. specific switchblade knives 
  • Media with immoral or seditious content, such as child pornography
  • Goods prohibited in the scope of economic sanctions, e.g. all Cuban-made articles or merchandise from Iran, Myanmar or Sudan 

 View the full list of prohibited and restricted goods.

  • Narcotics and some medication containing prohibited substances 
  • Absinthe (or other alcohols containing Artemisia absinthium) 
  • Endangered species that have not been outlined by CITES. To view the full list, visit the dedicated CITES page
  • Items infringing trade and copyright regulations 

View the full list of prohibited and restricted goods.
Find information on procedures and formalities. 

List of Terminals 

Ports and terminals
MSC operates services to and from the following USA ports and terminals, with local teams in each location to support our customers.


 Port  Terminal   
 Baltimore  Seagirt Marine Terminal  
 Boston Conley Terminal  
 Charleston Wando Welch Terminal, North Charleston,  
Houston  Barbous Cut Terminal, Bayport Terminal  
 Jacksonville International Gateway  
 Long Beach  Pier A, ITS, TTI  
 Los Angeles  APM, WBCT  
Miami   Pomtoc Terminal  
 Mobile APM   
 New Orleans Napoleon Avenue Terminal  
 New York PNCT, APM, Global Container Terminal  
Norfolk  VIG, NIT  
 Oakland  OICT  
 Philadelphia Packer Marine Terminal  
 Port Everglades, FL Port Everglades Terminal  
 Portland, OR Terminal 6   
 Savannah Garden City Terminal  
 Seattle T-5, T-18, T-30  
Agricultural Security - Pest Control

In the context of the U.S. Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) program and in line with guidance from many government agencies – Agricultural Security Minimum Security Criteria, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) Maritime Security Unit (MSU), along with representatives of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA),  Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Australian  Department of Agriculture and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFI) – and various other governments and/or international entities such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), and according with the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), it has become increasingly important to focus on the prevention of pest contamination of containerized cargo and wood products  (WPM – Wood Packing Material) in order to mitigate risks such as bio-security and hazards along the supply chain.

The purpose of this letter is to draw your attention, as one of many actors in the international container supply chain, onto the importance of enhancing the understanding of challenges and opportunities for identifying and reducing pest risk in our common business areas. Taking recommended actions at critical interchange points to reduce the spread of invasive pests, will not only support the prevention of such risk, but will allow to move containers/cargo faster and more easily through ports whenever a container inspection will be conducted by pertinent authorities.

Key points to be considered:

1 - Container and cargo contamination can occur for many reasons such as: origin, season, biology of pests, conditions around packing, storage of handling areas, intermodal parking areas, lights that attracts insects, environment factors (wind, rain) and packing procedures (transient pests and previous cargo).

2 - At supply chain interchange points, such as container depots (gate in/gate out), packing location (upon arrival, during packing, when packing is complete), transfer of units full and mt units, export/import terminals when gate in/gate out and transshipment (when loading/unloading to/from ship) and finally upon arrival/during unpacking and before to returning mt units to depots.

3 - The industry can be directly affected in respect to delays for cargo release (quarantine), demurrage charges due to cargo holds, extra handlings and drayage and/or cross stuffing when necessary, cleaning / fumigation process, possible re-export charges and/or cancelling future deliveries, loss of business.  

4 - A global concern, and a matter of shared responsibility, by highlighting the importance of the role through collaboration and partnership with authorities with the goal of awareness, to prevent and to maximize the communication and preventive actions by each stakeholder.

5 - All industry participants, need to be aware of the risk of penalties for not complying with biosecurity requirements for the individuals involved, which will vary and can be most serious. Enforcement agencies can issue an Infringement Notice, enforceable undertaking, injunction, civil penalty order and any combination of or all of these options. The most serious offences can lead to criminal prosecution and disqualification from engaging in any conduct that may be conducive to a biosecurity.

Best Practices & Recommendations: The mitigation techniques listed below are best practices in protecting against contaminants, however, they do not fully guarantee that shipments, containers and cargo will remain free from contaminants. It is up to each entity which forms part of the supply chain to ensure that they are adhering to agricultural pest and contaminants requirements, by following the rules of each country and/or port destination.

Best Practices & Recommendations: The mitigation techniques listed below are best practices in protecting against contaminants, however, they do not fully guarantee that shipments, containers and cargo will remain free from contaminants. It is up to each entity which forms part of the supply chain to ensure that they are adhering to agricultural pest and contaminants requirements, by following the rules of each country and/or port destination.

Ensure conveyance is clean before loading / stuffing.

Keep vegetation near facilities mowed, as these areas can harbor insects and rodents.

Sweep, vacuum, wash the containers and trailers prior to stuffing / loading.

Properly store and cover the pallets, dunnage, crates etc.

Store trailers / Containers away from natural areas and/or avoid placing over soil or vegetation.

Few links to be consulted/suggested:

The following links provide the directives and/or guidelines:

International Plant Protection Convention: https://www.ippc.int

FAO: https://www.fao.org/plant-health-2020

USA: https://www.aphis.usda.gov

CFIA: https://www.inspection.gc.ca

Use of ISO 17712 Compliant Seals 
MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company would like to remind our supply chain partners of our policy regarding the mandatory use of International Standardization Organization (ISO) 17712 compliant High Security Seals (HSS) on all full containers for international transport by MSC. 

BACKGROUND: Under the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) full Instruments of International Traffic (i.e. shipping containers) must have high security seals properly affixed at the point of stuffing to prevent pilferage, the introduction of terrorist devices, and other contraband from entering the global supply chain.  

It is MSC’s policy that an ISO 17712 compliant seal should be applied at all times during the transport under MSC’s custody and that all the letters and digits of the HSS number shall be documented properly and accurately on the Shipping Instructions, Bill of Lading, Manifest, or any other documentation related to the movement of the cargo. All shipments transported by MSC that are capable of being sealed must be secured immediately after loading/stuffing/packing by the responsible party (i.e. the shipper or packer acting on the shipper’s behalf) with a high security seal that meets or exceeds the most current ISO 17712 standard for high security seals and emphasized on MSC’s contract of carriage (Bill of Lading) which states under section 11.3: 

The Merchant is responsible for the packing and sealing of all merchant-packed containers and, if a merchant-packed container is delivered by the carrier with an original seal as affixed by the merchant or customs or security control intact, or the carrier can establish bona fide circumstances in which the original seal was replaced, the carrier shall not be liable for any shortage of goods ascertained upon delivery. 
As a best practice, it is recommended shippers take clear photographs of the following when preparing shipments for transit: 

1. Their shipments inside the container before closing the doors. 
2. The container door closed, with the container number clearly visible. 
3. A legible close-up of the seal and the seal number before affixing it to the container; and lastly, 
4. The high security seal properly affixed to the inner right door locking rod latch or lower right locking rod cam. 
Cargo Loading
MSC's cargo handling facilities are strategically located to ensure the efficient and timely loading of goods for export and import. We also provide cargo consolidation, loading and re-loading, packing, unpacking and cross-loading services from containers to trucks.
Contact our team