Pre Pull

Pre Pull: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

This guide covers yet another important term in freight industry – pre pull.

So, if you have any questions about pre pull, you will find the answer right here.

Let’s dive right in:

What Is Pre Pull?

A pre pull is when a trucker picks up a container from the port and stored overnight at the trucker’s yard instead of immediately delivering it.

This is majorly facilitated by a shipper who organizes on how the cargo is taken to the warehouse for storage.

This is a service that is offered in order to avoid demurrage fees at the port after the free days.

 Shipping containers

Shipping container

Can Pre Pull Help You Avoid Paying For Demurrage Fees?


A pre pull is necessary when you can’t accept the delivery before the last free day because your goods require a drop off appointment.

Demurrage fees is charged after the drop off appointment if a container is picked up two days late and the daily container late fee is $200 each.



The best way to avoid demurrage fee is by requesting the receiving warehouse if they can receive without appointments.

What Are The Benefits Of Pre Pull?

Some of the benefits of pre pull include:

  • A pre pull can help you avoid expensive demurrage fees if you cannot accept a delivery before the last free day.
  • Pre pull also helps you book appointments to the final delivery location.
  • For fair rates and fast service, you can get your containers moved and settled immediately.
  • During pre-pull, your cargo is guaranteed good security and handled by truckers who are highly experienced.
  • Pre pull helps reduce congestion at the port since the cargo is moved to the carrier’s warehouse for later transportation.
  • Pre pull helps avoid port duties and taxes which are incurred by storing your containers at the port.

Are There Pre Pull Fees?

Yes. Only if the trucker picks up a container from the port and does not get it loaded at the same day.

Pre pull fees falls under an ‘origin or destination charge from the trucker who is offering trucking services

The best way to avoid it is by ensuring that the receiving warehouse can receive the cargo without appointment.

During pre-pull chassis fee may be incurred if the container to be moved is not in the same location as the chassis, hence an additional cost to the pre pull service.

Why Is Pre Pull Necessary?

It is necessary when you cannot accept the delivery before the appointment day at the delivery location.

It will also be necessary if the receiver will require an early morning appointment hence the container will be picked up and be delivered in the morning.

It helps reduce the cost of demurrage fees which are charged within the agreed time for delivery.

How Can You Avoid Demurrage Fee and Pre Pull Fee?

Here are some of the ways to avoid some of these fees:

  • Demurrage fee is avoided by not extending the time when the container should be loaded on the ship or when the ship departs.
  • Demurrage is also avoided by ensuring that the appointment at the receiving location is not delayed as earlier planned.
  • Ensure you read and understand the chatter agreement.
  • Locate special requirements for the cargo import which is held by the port authorities or customs.
  • Make timely document release if the cargo is under letter of credit.
  • Distribute all the delivery documents to all the involved parties for easy loading and unloading process.
  • Interact consistently with the driver, loader, broker and port authorities.
  • Secure a copy of an original bill of lading to safe guard the shippers payment.
  • Negotiate with the port authorities for an increase in the number of free days if necessary.

Which Challenges Will You Face During Pre Pull?

Some of the challenges are:

  • Damage to cargo: a pre pulled shipment is likely to be damaged if not secured properly.
  • Incomplete paper work: having no proper documentation may affect the location and release of cargo, hence more delays.
  • Custom problems: the shipper provides strict regulations for any unanticipated delays and delay costs on the pulled cargo.
  • Weight limits: overweight trucks may lead to fines, additional costs, rehandling and load redistribution.
  • Residentials: there are extra charges even if the move your cargo from a public storage area, you will incur a pre pull charge for the residential move.
  • Delay costs: there are inevitable delay charges if the cargo is not delivered according to the appointment from the receiving location.

Does Pre Pull Apply To Cargo You Ship Through Air Freight And Ocean Freight?

In Air freight pre pull may vary depending on the nature of the cargo.

  • Non-perishable: flights are generally more frequent, less expensive and widely available, but require tight schedules which if not met there may be need for pre pull.
  • Perishable cargo: pre pull is not considered since the products require to reach the destinations while they still offer maximum appeal and shelf life.

Ocean freight is transporting of containerized cargo loaded onto vessels by sea.

  • A freight forwarder can consolidate the consignment to reduce cost when the cargo is pre pulled.
  • Pre pull is necessary for ocean routes and timetables are usually inflexible, hence need for storage of the delayed cargo.
  • Pre pull enable convenient tracking of cargo that is stored at the warehouse rather than having them stocked at a congested port.
  • Pre pull help reduce the cost of port duties and taxes.
  • Carriers guarantee safety of consignment when they are kept at their warehouse after pre pull.

Are Pre Pull Fee Lower Than Demurrage Fee?

Pre pull fee are lower than demurrage fee.

  • Pre pull: Your carrier charges you for storing all your cargo at its private yard which is less costly than paying for each container.
  • Demurrage: is a kind of late payment fee which is incurred after the last free day.

The fee is quite costly for they are charged by container and by day.

How Does Pre Pull Work?

Your carrier will pick up your cargo at the port just in time after the last free day.

Then, temporarily store it is its yard until you can deliver it to the final destination.

Is Pre Pull Legal?

Pre pull is legal:

It is necessary when you want your carrier to pick it up for you from the port then stored it up at the carrier’s yard when you don’t want it delivered immediately.

How Much Is Pre Pull Fee?

  • Trucking fees wait: most drivers will allow for 2 free hours of waiting while the cargo is being loaded.

After expiry they will charge on an hourly rate for trucking wait fees.

  • Drop fees: The trucker drops off the container at the warehouse, and then leaves.

The driver will charge extra for a drop, since it requires an extra trip.

  • Chassis fee: this is a flat fee which varies by trucker to transport the cargo to the warehouse.

Useful Resources:

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