The shipping container has reached retirement age – Happy 65th, container

container 65

Shipping Container, Freight Container, Container, Box, TEU – many of the synonyms and acronyms by which the common shipping container is referred to as, depending on who is talking..

It has also evolved in shape and size and now comes in various sizes and types such as 20′, 40′, 45′, GP, HQ, OT, FR, RF etc etc etc..

Universally hailed as one of the greatest inventions of the modern world, the container has really and truly made the world a smaller place and in my view, can be termed the one true architect of Globalisation..

Well, that container has now reached retirement age in human terms as it turned 65 on the 26th of April 2021 having started its journey in 1956..

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The Container Department – a look at its existence and functions

Image for container

It has been called many names – Equipment Control, Container Control, Logistics, Container Department – whatever you call it, it is one of the most dynamic departments within a shipping line or ship agency’s business..

This department is close to my heart as this was my first real job in a liner shipping environment my Alphabet blocks if you may..

What does this department do..??

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Anatomy of a shipping container

image for container

An illustrative post outlining the anatomy of a shipping container written by Robert John Wheeler.. An interesting read for people who are within the industry and heard of these terms, but have not had the opportunity to see what it looks like..

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IoT standards for remote Reefer container monitoring on board vessels released

Press Release on Shipping and Freight Resource

Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), a neutral, non-profit group established to further digitalisation of container shipping technology standards, in conjunction with its nine member carriers – MSC, Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, Evergreen, Yang Ming, HMM and ZIM has released IoT standards for remote Reefer container monitoring on board vessels..

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All about CSC plate and inspection regimes for shipping containers

CSC plate - shipping and freight resource

The need for safe transportation of goods cannot be overemphasised..

Various incidents that have occurred around the world in terms of maritime disasters, weight misdeclarations and other mishaps bear testament to this important factor in shipping..

You might have seen ships with the SAFETY FIRST phrase emblazoned across the accommodation on the ship..

When we speak about safety especially in container shipping, one of the main items that needs to be considered is the safety aspect of using the shipping container as a Cargo Transporting Unit (CTU)..

Here I explain all about the CSC Plate and Safety Approval and container inspection regimes..

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BIC and DCSA collaborate to standardize container facility identification and digital access

Press Release

BIC (Bureau International des Containers) and DCSA (Digital Container Shipping Association) today announced completion of their collaboration to standardize the codes used to identify facilities such as depots, container yards, M&R vendors and other supply chain container facilities.

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Do I need cargo insurance for my shipment..??

cargo insurance - shipping and freight resource

Cargo insurance is a type of insurance that protects a buyer or seller of goods against damages or loss of cargo..

Despite insurance having been around for centuries, there is still a feeling that any form of insurance is a “grudge purchase” and in the case of cargo shipments, many people ask the question “Do I need cargo insurance for my shipment“..??

By its nature, insurance is an intangible benefit, one that can only be tested under adverse circumstances and there is nothing more adverse than cargo damage..

From a

• Local (Street to Street, City to City, Town to Town etc)
• Provincial (Within the same province or state etc)
• National (Province to Province, State to State etc)
• Global (International trade between countries)
• Regional (Within regional trade blocs like EU, BRICS etc)

there are several modes and types of trade/shipments around the world..

Where there is a shipment, there is a possibility of cargo damage and where there is the possibility of cargo damage………………….

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Global groups to collaborate on container safety improvements

Press Release - Shipping and Freight Resource

Five international freight transport and cargo handling organisations are collaborating on the production of new guidance on packing standards for freight containers and other cargo transport units. The Container Owners … Read more here..

Importance of declaring the correct cargo weight

Featured Image for container weight infographic

Misdeclaration of container weights has been an issue that has been going on for a long time and has plagued many a shipping line, ship and port operators..

In a recent article, I wrote about the basics of container stowage planning and why it is so important..

In this article, I thought it would be worth reiterating the importance of being accurate in the declaration of the weights..

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What do the markings on a container mean..??

markings on a Container Door

The ubiquitous freight or shipping container has become an integral part of our lives not just if you are in the industry handling and moving these containers from point to point, but for all the businesses and industries that use the container..

It has been universally hailed as one of the greatest inventions of the modern world, one that completely changed the way in which business has been done since the 20th century and really and truly made the world a smaller place and the one true architect of Globalisation..

Exporters, importers, traders, packing houses, ports, customs, border authorities, police, clearing agents, freight forwarders, stevedores, hauliers, weighbridges ……………………….. and many more entities involved in a trade transaction may be seeing and handling a container on a daily basis..

But although many of these people see a container not everyone understands the many markings on a container..

The markings on a container play a very significant role in the movement of the container as they provide vital information to all entities in the supply chain relating to the monitoring and safety of the container and cargo during its carriage..

Let us look at each of the markings on a container individually using an example below..

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Containers falling off ships while at sea – who is responsible..??

containers falling

2019 was quite the year for maritime disasters with ships on fire, containers falling off ships etc.. 2020 seems to be hitting the industry in other ways which could also be considered a kind of maritime disaster..

But in what may be the first reported case of containers falling off ships in 2020, the APL England a 5,780 TEU capacity containership lost around 40 containers off the coast of New South Wales in Australia.. It has also been reported that around 74 containers are lying in a collapsed state within the stacks on board the ship..

Such incidents bring to the fore the question whether the ship register or ship registry is liable for containers falling off a ship and who is really responsible..

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Don’t be caught out with an unseaworthy container – follow this checklist and avoid cargo damage

unseaworthy container

There are several reasons that cargo inside a container could damaged. It could be due to improper packing of cargo inside a container, incorrect container used for the cargo carried, but one of the main reasons for cargo damage inside a container is the condition of the container itself.

  • Wet damage due water ingress (rain, seawater etc) into the container ;
  • Wet damage due to condensation inside the container when an incorrect type of container is used like using a normal container instead of a ventilated container ;
  • Contamination due to adjacency risk or odor transfer ;
  • Infestation damage

are some of the common types of damages reported on cargoes that are packed in containers.

As a general rule, shipping lines reject these claims confirming that the gate out documents of the containers were clean at the time of release to the shipper. Insurance companies use Unseaworthiness and Unfitness Exclusion Clause stated in ICC (A) not to cover similar claims either, unless the insured can prove that he was not aware of the condition of the container at the time of loading.

Obviously, this situation causes a lot of frustration, feelings of injustice, and could result in absorbed losses among shippers globally.

So should the shipper simply accept this rejection of claims and move on?

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How shipping containers can help in tackling COVID-19

shipping and freight news

Hospitals made from shipping containers could help tackle COVID-19

  • Architects have designed intensive care units built inside shipping containers.
  • These mobile hospitals could help ease pressure on health systems.
  • The team behind CURA wants to scale rapidly to tackle the spread of COVID-19 in Africa.

An Italian design company has teamed up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to create prefabricated intensive care units (ICUs), to deal with escalating numbers of coronavirus patients around the world.

Coronavirus patients with access to hospital equipment, in particular ICU beds, have a much greater chance of survival. With 377,431 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on 24 March, health systems around the world are groaning under the strain.

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