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


Connecting Portugal to the world

MSC Portugal was founded in 1991 and operates at the maritime ports of Leixões and Sines and at the dry ports of Valongo, Leixões, Aveiro, Riachos, Bobadela (Lisbon), Setúbal and Sines. 

Over the years, MSC Portugal has built up its position in the national containerised market, becoming in 2006 the national market leader.

 MSC Portugal was named the Best Portugal-North America and Best Portugal Latin-America Shipping Line at the Transportes & Negócios Cargo Awards 2021. 

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


Demurrage and Storage charges in Portugal

What is Demurrage?
Demurrage is the charge applicable after the free time expires, calculation starts from discharge day (included) and ends on the gate-in empty day (included).
Demurrage is applicable at port of discharge or final destination, depending on contracted terms, unless stated otherwise during the negotiations and dully approved by MSC Geneva. 

What is Storage?
Storage charge is applicable after the free time expires, calculation starts from discharge day (included) and ends with gate out full day (included) from terminal.

If a customer requests to perform the customs clearance at POD Sines before rail positioning storage and demurrage charges as per standard tariff are applicable in addition to the ones applicable at final destination.

Demurrage and Storage charges are applicable per container per calendar day (i.e. including week-ends and holidays).

Detention, Demurrage and Storage charges in Portugal for Export
What is Detention?
Detention is the charge applicable after the free time expires, calculation starts from empty pick up day (included) and ends with the gate-in full day in the Sea Port/Terminal with complete documentation ready to be loaded on Vessel.

What is Demurrage?
Demurrage is the charge applicable after the free time expires, calculation starts from gate in full day at Sea Port/Terminal (included) until ETS day (included).

Some contracts have combined detention and demurrage, this charge is applicable after the free time expires, calculation starts from empty pick up day (included) until ETS day (included).

What are storage charges?
Storage is the charge applicable after the free time expires, calculation starts from gate in full day at Sea Port/Terminal (included) until ETS day (included).

Detention, demurrage and storage charges are applicable per container per calendar day (i.e. including week-ends).

Any rollover or earlier delivery at the Sea Port / Terminal requested by client may have Demurrage and Storage costs.

Questions about detention, demurrage, or storage charges?
Contact our Dem&Sto Team by email:

In case of detention, demurrage or storage disputes, email, mentioning the invoice number in the email subject. Please describe the reasons for your dispute.

SOLAS VGM information

SOLAS VGM: a new regulation for a safer supply chain 

Government approval status
Instituto de Mobilidade e dos Transportes (IMT) is the authority in charge for SOLAS application in Portugal.

MSC Portugal is still waiting for Government official decision about tolerances, penalties and level of control.

In the Terminals where MSC operates, we have the following situations:
Leixões port - TCL does not accept containers without VGM;
Sines port - PSA accepts containers without VGM, once they’ll be able to weight and provide VGM accordingly;
MSC Entroncamento dry port - there is a weighing service available for clients.
All official information published
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 + unit
  • Authorized person’s signatory (submitter of the VGM who may be authorized to act on behalf of shippers)
  • Responsible party Name
  • How to submit your VGM instructions
  • myMSC
  • Manually (EDI via INTTRA)

Deadlines for sending your VGM instructions
VGM information should be sent to MSC Portugal, prior to containers’ arrival at the port (Sines & Leixões) or at least 48 hours prior to ETA.

In case you wish to use Terminals’ weighing facility, kindly inform agency in advance, in order to avoid extra costs (e.g.: extra-moves).

Admin Fees and costs
Please find below tariffs to be applied in case clients ask to weight containers at:
MSC Entroncamento: EUR 12.00 / container
PSA Sines: EUR 25.00 / container
Leixões (IP & TCL): EUR 12.00 / container
SPC Valongo: EUR 12.00 / container
SPC Setúbal: EUR 12.00 / container
Extra costs for failing to timely provide VGM as per carrier’s VGM cut-off (including but not limited to): Demurrage, Storage and Extra-moves

VGM documents should be kept for eleven years, accordingly to National Law.
MSC Portugal should be informed in advance about the appointment of 3rd parties to provide the VGM.

Contact information:
E-mail: - Phone: + 351 210 128 472
E-mail: - Phone: + 351 229 392 001


Prohibited cargo

Prohibited Cargo


There are no specific prohibited cargos in Portugal however there are some particular commodities which procedures must be complied without exemption.
Failure to comply may lead to cargo confiscation, abandonment, etc with all costs at Portugal to be on cargo’s account.

· Narcotics and some medication containing prohibited substances;
· Endangered species;
· Items infringing trade and copyright regulation.

What we offer

At MSC, we believe that global success depends on local solutions and local expertise. Discover our complete range of services to support customers shipping to or from Portugal.
· Project Cargo
· Intermodal Transportation and Haulage solutions
· Warehousing and storing solutions
· Project cargo
· Customs clearance
· Ports, Terminals and Depots

Local Requirements in Portugal

Disclaimer: This is a complementary information and do not disoblige customers to search all relevant info towards relevant authorities. MSC may be not found responsible or liable for any information here stated.

Sines Container Terminal is officially approved by European Commission as a border inspection for human and non-human consumption products as from last 20/06/2005.

Due to Customs restrictions in Portugal, some commodities routed via Sines have to be customs cleared there before any relay to the dry ports of Aveiro, Bobadela, IP Leixões, Riachos, Setubal and Valongo. The list of such commodities is the following (together with international custom code) but not limited to:
Custom code  Commodity designation
 0102 90  Other live animals of domestic bovine species
 0201 10/20/30  Fresh / Refrigerated bovine meat
 0202 10/20/30  Frozen bovine meat
 0402 10/21/29/91/99  Concentrated or sugar added milk and cream
 405  1/9   Butter and other fat materials from milk
 0803 00  Fresh bananas
 1701 11/12/91/99  Cane or beet sugar and pure chemical sacarose in solid state
 2207 10  Ethilic alcohol with an alcoholic degree equal or above 80%
 2208 20/30/40/50/60/70/80/  Spirits and liquors
 2402 20  Cigarettes containing tobacco

At Leixoes, port veterinary authorities don't allow the inspection of foodstuff at ambient temperature for human consumption.


To lay down detailed rules on minimum requirements for border control posts, including inspection centres, and for the format, categories and abbreviations to use for listing border control posts and control points

- Cargo not customs cleared after 90 days of arrival date at sea ports, becomes in abandonment and can be sold in public auction.
- Cargo subject to environmental license: it's mandatory the presentation of original documentation that must follow the cargo throughout the routing since shipper premises until receiver's facilities. We, proactively, will request to the receiver's party this documentation by scan until 48 working hours before the discharge to be sent to Failing to comply with this mandatory procedure prevents that rail positioning to the final destination (if applicable) can be performed and all extra costs at discharge port will be on receiver’s account (and cargo will be sent for destruction).
- FOODSTUFF is not accepted as cargo description nor the declaration of "1 bulk" for number of packages is allowed for break bulk cargo only and "1 lot" for personal effects description such as "general merchandise".
- Cargo manifest must show number of pallets (or cases) with respective number of packages for each pallet (or case).
- CITES species under Washington agreement which do not circulate with export license issued at origin of goods.
- Goods that may cause harm to the public health (meat ; fish, etc. with expired dates of consumption)
- Military material without authorization from the Ministry of Defense


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.
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Container Weighing (VGM)

All MSC local offices provide certified scales to record and verify container weight (verified gross mass or VGM) in line with Safety of Lives at Sea (SOLAS) regulations. VGM instructions are mandatory for all shipments for safety reasons and vessel operators can only load a container if its weight has been appropriately verified. Contact your local MSC team for more information and support. 
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Last update: 2024-06-21T20:39:00