MSC Isabella (built 2019) 23 656 TEU  MSC Isabella (built 2019) 23 656 TEU


Connecting the USA to the world

MSC has been helping customers to ship cargo to and from the USA since 1985. Today, with more than 40 services connecting 200 global routes, MSC USA moves more millions TEU of cargo per year.

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

Detention, demurrage, Per Diem and storage charges

What is detention?
Detention is the charge applicable, after the free time expires, for the use of the carrier’s full container inside the marine terminal, railroad facilities or container yard. This charge can also apply while the container is undergoing US customs inspections, or while the cargo inside the container is being reworked for safety reasons.   

What is demurrage?
Demurrage is the charge applicable, after the free time expires, inside the terminal for the use of the land. 
In case of a demurrage dispute, email (email subject: Dispute + Invoice Number), describing the reasons for your dispute. 
What is Per Diem?
Per Diem is the 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.  
In case of Per Diem disputes, email, mentioning the invoice number in the email subject. Please describe the reasons for your dispute in accordance with terms of the UIIA: 
Our dispute team will come back to you within 48 business hours.

What are storage charges?
A storage charge is applicable, after the free time expires, for containers left inside the rail ramp or container yard (for the use of the land).
Paying detention and demurrage charges through E-Pay 
To pay by credit card, log onto and enter your invoice number (not BL or CNTR number). You can then add it to the cart and proceed with the payment. Both you and our Demurrage/Detention group (team?) will receive the payment confirmation. We will then proceed with the release and will notify you accordingly. So, in this case, you do not need to email

Detention and demurrage: updated payment policy 
Please note that 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 cheque or ACH is acceptable. However, the shipment will be released ONLY after funds clear. 

SOLAS VGM information for the USA

What is VGM?

Verified Gross Mass or VGM refers to the exact, verified weight of a packed container. For safety reasons, vessel operators can only load a container if its weight has been verified.

In line with SOLAS (Safety of Lives at Sea) regulations, all marine terminals in the USA are now allowed to use their certified scales to record Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of shipments. Download our USA VGM policy and terminal guidelines for more information.

What do I need to include in my VGM instructions?

You must include the following on all VGM instructions:

  • Booking or Bill of Lading (BL) number
  • Container number
  • VGM + weight measurement unit (lbs. or kgs.)
  • Responsible Party Name
  • Digital signature of the authorised signatory in all CAPITAL LETTERS.

How can I submit my VGM instructions?

  • myMSC (Free of Charge) 
  •  EDI (via INTTRA; GT NEXUS; Cargo Smart)
  • Manually (via INTTRA; GT NEXUS; Cargo Smart)
  • Email: (note: the email will only be monitored for VGM declarations)

Guidelines for submitting your VGM instructions

  •  MSC prefers to receive a Shipper-Verified Gross Mass (VGM) before cargo is delivered. This helps to avoid any unexpected weighing charges being levied against the cargo at the US Port of Loading, 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 12:00 noon local time on the day of the cargo cut-off. 
  • There are currently 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 12:00 noon, local time, on 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 USD per container. 
  • Late VGM Submission Fee: 25 USD per container. 
  • VGM Misdeclaration Fee: 300 USD per misdeclaration, per container.

LOI (Letter of indemnity) for lost or destroyed OBLs (Original Bills of Lading)

What is an LOI?

An LOI (Letter of Indeminity) is required when an original Bill of Lading is lost or destroyed. It can be completed by shipper at the Port of Loading, or by the consignee at the Port of Discharge.

The LOI requires 200% of the commercial value of the cargo plus Ocean Freight to be guaranteed either through bank or MSC’s Insurance company.

MSC’s global LOI requirements are set out by our Geneva headquarters. The LOI must be completed as per these instructions in order for a duplicate Bill of Lading to be issued.

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 of Loading  Terminal 1    Terminal 2   Terminal 3 
 Baltimore  Seagirt     
 Boston Conley     
 Charleston Wando  North Charleston Terminal   
Houston  Barbous Cut   Bayport  
 Jacksonville Blount Island     
 Long Beach  Pier A  ITS Pier T 
 Los Angeles  APM P400     
Miami   Pomtoc  South Florida Container Terminal   
 Mobile APM     
 New Orleans New Orleans Terminal   Ports America  
 New York PNCT   APM NYCT 
Norfolk  VIG  NIT  
 Oakland  OICT    
 Philadelphia Packer   Packer  
 Port Everglades, FL PEV     
 Portland, OR Terminal 6     
 Savannah Garden City     
 Seattle SSA T18  SSA T30   
Tacoma   Husky     
 Tampa Tampa Container Terminal     
 Wilmington WCT-NCSPA     

Chassis Brokerage Nationwide

MSC owns more than xxx chassis ready to assist our customers and offer them an integrated solution.

Container freight station

MSC US offers special warehouse where cargo is consolidated or deconsolidated and then staged for the next transport leg.

Less than container Load (LCL) and consolidation in Miami for the Bahamas Trade Cargo

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