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Breaches, Assessing Product Value, and Delays

Carrier detained at shipping point.
Dock to Dock

The Problem: Carrier detained at shipping point.

The Key Point: Carriers are entitled to be reimbursed for unreasonable delays.

The Solution: Blue Book’s Transportation Guidelines may be used as a reference in the absence of a specific agreement as to fees.

Question: We are a carrier operating primarily between the Texas border and the Midwest. Recently, we were detained at shipping point for 24 hours before loading was completed. Per Blue Book, are we entitled to detention fees? And if so, how much?

Answer: Blue Book’s Transportation Guidelines provide the following regarding detention fees—

In the absence of a specific agreement to the contrary, a detention fee of $500.00 per day may apply when temperature control is required; a fee of $400.00 per day may apply when no temperature control is required. These fees may be applied on a pro rata basis.

The additional $100.00 for temperature controlled shipments is intended to compensate the carrier for reefer fuel and the additional risk associated with possessing a perishable commodity for an additional day.

Your questions? Yes, send them in. Legal answers? No, industry knowledgeable answers. If you have questions or would like further information, email


Doug Nelson is vice president of the Special Services department at Blue Book Services. Nelson previously worked as an investigator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and as an attorney specializing in commercial litigation.