Port Charges For Shipping Containers From China to USA 2024

Port charges can usually be categorized into three main types, namely, “ship’s dues”, “cargo dues” and “service charges”.

Port charges

Shipping charges are port charges levied on ships, including ship tonnage tax, ship port charges, pilotage charges, tugboat charges, mooring charges and lighthouse charges, etc., which are generally based on the tonnage of the ship.


Port charges

Port charges


Tonnage Dues

Tonnage Dues for ships, like VAT and consumption tax in the importing process, belongs to the tax levied on behalf of the Customs. It is levied by the customs of the sovereign state when a ship enters a port on international voyage.

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Harbour Dues on ship

This is the fee that should be paid to the port authority according to the regulations for the use of the water area, channel and berthing place of the port during the period of the ship’s entering and leaving the port and berthing in the port.

Towage, Tug Hire

Towage, Tug Hire is a fee charged to a vessel for the use of a tugboat to assist the vessel in entering or leaving the harbor, or moving or turning the vessel within the harbor.

Pilotage, Remooring Dues

When international ships enter or leave the port, they are generally forced to pilotage, for which the ship must pay the pilotage fee according to the provisions of the port pilotage.

Mooring and Unmoorimg Charges

Mooring and Unmoorimg Charges refers to the labor remuneration of mooring and unmoorimg workers for mooring or unmoorimg the ship when the ship berths or moves away from wharf, floats or berths, which is generally charged according to the tonnage or length of the ship, and in terms of number of times, with surcharges at night, on Sundays and on holidays.


Port charges

Port charges



Berthage, also known as Dock Dues, refers to the charges levied on ships berthed at berths, floats and anchorages in port terminals, usually based on the ship’s tonnage, length and berthing time.

Light Dues

This is a tax levied by the ports of some countries, and the collection method is the same as that of ship tonnage tax, which is also based on the net tonnage of the ship. There are three kinds of calculation cycles: “per time”, “30 days” and “12 months”. However, some countries have special regulations for ports.

1. Cargo charges are levied on the goods of the port to make the fee, mainly cargo port charges, loading and unloading fees, handling, stowage, flat fee, handling fees, etc., generally according to the weight of the goods, size, number of pieces of billing.

(1) Harbour Dues on Goods

Harbour Dues on Goods refers to the charges levied by port authorities on imported and exported goods through the port, which are charged according to the tonnage of imported or exported goods respectively.

(2) Stevedore Charges, Stevedorage

Stevedore Charges are charges levied by ports (or stevedoring companies) for providing manpower and equipment to ships for cargo loading and unloading operations.

(3) Tallying charge

Tallying charge refers to the cost of organizing and checking the goods by the port’s tallying organization when the ship or cargo owner receives and delivers the goods at the port of shipment and port of discharge according to the contract of carriage.


freight surcharges

Port charges

2. Usage service charge

Tallying charge is a collective term for the fees paid by the port for equipment or services provided by the port upon application by the ship or the cargo party.

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